Failure in initial stage containment of global COVID-19 epicenters.J Med Virol. 2020 07; 92(7):863-867.JM
With multiple virus epicenters, COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Consequently, many countries have implemented different policies to manage this crisis including curfew and lockdown. However, the efficacy of individual policies remains unclear with respect to COVID-19 case development. We analyzed available data on COVID-19 cases of eight majorly affected countries, including China, Italy, Iran, Germany, France, Spain, South Korea, and Japan. Growth rates and doubling time of cases were calculated for the first 6 weeks after the initial cases were declared for each respective country and put into context with implemented policies. Although the growth rate of total confirmed COVID-19 cases in China has decreased, those for Japan have remained constant. For European countries, the growth rate of COVID-19 cases considerably increased during the second time interval. Interestingly, the rates for Germany, Spain, and France are the highest measured in the second interval and even surpass the numbers in Italy. Although the initial data in Asian countries are encouraging with respect to case development at the initial stage, the opposite is true for European countries. Based on our data, disease management in the 2 weeks following the first reported cases is of utmost importance.