Good Virus News from the Promised Land

This report comes by way of Times of Israel, Top Israeli prof claims simple stats show virus plays itself out after 70 days.  Excerpts in italics, along with images from his article in Hebrew (here)

Isaac Ben-Israel, who is not a medical expert, says analysis worldwide shows new cases peaking after about 40 days, slams economic closures; leading doctor dismisses his claims

A prominent Israeli mathematician, analyst and former general claims simple statistical analysis demonstrates that the spread of COVID-19 peaks after about 40 days and declines to almost zero after 70 days — no matter where it strikes, and no matter what measures governments impose to try to thwart it.

Prof Isaac Ben-Israel, head of the Security Studies program in Tel Aviv University and the chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, told Israel’s Channel 12 (Hebrew) Monday night that research he conducted with a fellow professor, analyzing the growth and decline of new cases in countries around the world, showed repeatedly that “there’s a set pattern” and “the numbers speak for themselves.”

Ben-Israel’s Analysis

Addition of the number of patients per day in Israel

From the graph above you can see that the increment of patients per day peaked (around the 41st day) to about 700 additional patients a day, beginning to fade since.

From a graphical point of view, this phenomenon is remarkably exemplary in almost every country where there is data. For comparison, let’s see what happens in the US. The numbers are bigger) The US has about 330 million people! The drop phenomenon is clear:

Red line is exponential projection, blue line is pattern of observations.

The infection behavior is not only unique to Israel or the United States and is a global phenomenon, as reflected in the following sketch.  The daily supplement is added worldwide (or more precisely in countries that publish data). This is actually a worldwide phenomenon, as can be clearly seen from the drawing that brings together the data of all countries.

In Israel, the absolute numbers are smaller but the phenomenon is similar:

The pattern of onset and decline in the number of patients after a few weeks is also shared by completely different countries (as illustrated in the following two drawings). This is true regardless of their behavior during the crisis.  For example, Italy imposed a total closure, including the paralysis of the economy while Sweden has not yet taken these steps.

Summary from Ben-Israel’s document:

Let’s return to the question in the headline: Is the Corona Expansion Exponential?  The answer to the numbers is simple: No. Expansion begins exponentially but moderately and fades quickly after about 8 weeks of its breakout.

Continuation of Times of Israel article:

While he said he supports social distancing, the widespread shuttering of economies worldwide constitutes a demonstrable error in light of those statistics. In Israel’s case, he noted, about 140 people normally die every day. To have shuttered much of the economy because of a virus that is killing one or two a day is a radical error that is unnecessarily costing Israel 20% of its GDP, he charged.

Prof. Gabi Barbash, a hospital director and the former Health Ministry director general, insisted in a bitter TV exchange that Ben-Israel is mistaken, and that the death tolls would have been far higher if Israel and other countries had not taken the steps they did.

But Ben-Israel said the figures — notably from countries, such as Singapore, Taiwan, and Sweden, which did not take such radical measures to shutter their economies — proved his point. (He also posted a Hebrew paper to this effect on Facebook, with graphs showing the trajectories.)

When Barbash cited New York as ostensible proof that Ben-Israel was mistaken, Ben-Israel noted the latest indications from New York were precisely in line with his statistics that indicate daily new cases figures peaking and starting to fall after about 40 days.

Asked to explain the phenomenon, Ben-Israel, who also heads Israel’s Space Agency, later said: “I have no explanation. There are all kinds of speculations. Maybe it’s related to climate, or the virus has a life-span of its own.”

Asked to explain why the virus had caused such a high death toll in countries such as Italy, he said the Italian health service was already overwhelmed. “It collapsed in 2017 because of the flu,” he said.

He said the policy of lockdowns and closures was a case of “mass hysteria.” Simple social distancing would be sufficient, he said.

If the lockdowns instituted in Israel and elsewhere were not causing such immense economic havoc, there wouldn’t be a problem with them, he said. “But you shouldn’t be closing down the entire country when most of the population is not at high risk.”

See Also:  Canada Bends the Curve April 15 Update

Footnote:  The Anatomy of a Viral Outbreak every year in Canada

Red line is Flu A and blue line in Flu B. To enlarge open image in new tab.



One comment

  1. Hifast · April 17, 2020

    Reblogged this on HiFast News Feed.


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