Good morning, it's Paul here, with Tuesday's SCVR.

Estimated timings - mostly done by 1pm official finish time, but I've got nothing else planned for the afternoon, so will probably keep adding sections until about 7pm.
Edit at 19:"7 - sorry, it took much longer than expected, but today's report is now finished.

I'm going to start with my views on the current coronavirus situation. Sorry if this is not very well-structured, but there's so much to cover;

Coronavirus thoughts

It seems to me that (to mangle a phrase from Churchill) we're not even at the end of the beginning. Coronavirus is clearly spreading internationally, and is highly contagious. Therefore, the most logical stance to take, is to assume that it's likely to become a pandemic. Hopefully not, and there are of course other possible scenarios - e.g. that containment measures slow it down, or even gradually eradicate it, as people either recover or die (it is binary, after all). My sources in the pharmaceutical sector tell me that hopes for a vaccination, let alone cure, are premature. After all, they've never managed to develop a cure, or vaccine for the common cold, after trying for more than 50 years. But who knows, there must be lots of scientists working on this, and they could get lucky. Even then, testing would take the best part of a year before it could be widely distributed.

I monitor this website (from a good source, which I've checked out) every morning, and note that;

Reported cases in China seem to be reducing now. The number of people reported as having recovered, is rising strongly now. That's great, but bear in mind that many cases (elderly & already sick) are severe & require hospitalisation. The number of cases could be under-estimated, if people who have mild symptoms don't need medical help. We saw from some of the social media coverage just how bad the situation was in the early stages of the virus outbreak, as so many people needed hospitalisation in China. Remember the new hospital they built in 8 days? How could that be done here in the UK? It was reported on last night's TV news that we only have 2 hospital beds per 1,000 people, well below other developed countries (e.g. France & Germany), therefore the worry is clearly that if people become sick from coronavirus &…

Unlock the rest of this article with a 14 day trial

or Unlock with your email

Already have an account?
Login here