The novel coronavirus outbreak has brought fear and panic all over the world, especially in East Asia. Last weekend, we saw the panic-stricken citizens of our normally calm & steady Southern neighbor, Singapore rushing to buy up household goods & groceries in their supermarkets. The fear & panic warranted an address to the nation by the Prime Minister of Singapore to calm their flared nerve.
This panic is fed by a sudden jump in new cases reported in the republic as well as various alarming reports that this new strain of flu virus will soon turn into a pandemic. Reports from government leaders and health authorities were over-shadowed by numerous reports or videos circulating in the social media that the condition is far worse than reported.
In times like this, we must also seek out less extreme reports to get at the real situation. There are a few positive news which got pushed aside, such as the steady drop in new cases reported (here and here) or the promising recovery rates (here) or comments from experts who are satisfied with the drastic measures taken by the Chinese authority to tackle the outbreak. Finally, I did my own study on the virus based on data from worldometer.info (here). See the charts for yourself.
1. The uptrend in daily new cases reported has peaked by Feb 6.
2. While the number of deaths has increased steadily, the mortality rate has eased off from the initial phase of the outbreak to a low of about 0.23-0.26% over the past 5-6 days. While this is quite encouraging, I take this data with a pinch of salt because the base (Total Cases reported) gets bigger over time.
3. What is hardly mentioned is the total recovery cases (in the green box), which has jumped from 1541 to 3996 from Feb 6 to Feb 10! Don't just look at the total deaths (in the red box)!
While I am a layman in the field of disease or health matters, my knowledge of the market and investment history tells me that the share prices have been hammered sufficiently over the past 2-3 weeks that the risk reward proposition is now in your favor to slowly buy into the market. You need to be patient in this market as I still expect it to trade sideways for the next few months- awaiting more positive news from the containment of this virus as well as from the recovery in the economy.