Combating the COVID-19 pandemic : The role of the SARS imprint

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Title: Combating the COVID-19 pandemic : The role of the SARS imprint
ISBN: 978-952-323-335-5
Author: Ru, Hong ; Yang, Endong ; Zou, Kunru
Organization: Bank of Finland
Department / Unit: Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT)
Series: BOFIT Discussion Papers
ISSN: 1456-5889
Series year: 2020
Series number: 15/2020
Year of publication: 2020
Publication date: 30.6.2020
Pages: 32
Subject (yso): pandemiat; vaikutukset; toimet; viivästys
Keywords: Bofit-kokoelma; COVID-19; SARS; aiemmat kokemukset
JEL: D83; E70; H12; I10
Other keywords: imprint; early experience; delayed response
Abstract: This paper documents a strong delayed response to COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus in countries that did not encounter the SARS disease in 2003. The SARS outbreak was caused by a similar virus, SARS-CoV-1. Individuals in countries that developed SARS infections in 2003 search more intensively for COVID-19-related information on Google during the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in late January 2020. Governments in countries that have not experienced SARS respond significantly slower in implementing containment measures to combat COVID-19 than countries that have experienced SARS. Furthermore, the timely responses of individuals and governments are more pronounced in countries that reported deaths caused by SARS, which left deeper imprints. Consequently, COVID-19 case numbers and mortalities have been substantially higher in countries that did not experience SARS deaths. Our findings suggest that the imprint of the early experience of similar viruses is a fundamental mechanism underlying timely responses to COVID-19.
Table of contents: Abstract .. 4 1 Introduction .. 5 2 Background .. 7 2.1 COVID-19 (caused by SARS-CoV-2) .. 7 2.2 SARS (caused by SARS-CoV-1) .. 8 3 Data and summary statistics .. 9 3.1 Data for SARS and COVID-19 .. 9 3.2 Data for Google search .. 9 3.3 Data for government responses .. 9 3.4 Summary statistics .. 10 4 Empirical analyses and results .. 11 4.1 The imprint of the 2003 SARS epidemic .. 11 4.2 Government actions to combat COVID-19 outbreaks .. 14 4.3 Potential consequences of delayed action against COVID-19 .. 16 5 Conclusion .. 18 References .. 19 Internet appendix for combating the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of the SARS imprint .. 22 Appendix 1 Figures .. 23 Appendix 2 Tables .. 26 Appendix 3 Additional background of COVID-19 .. 30
Rights: https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/copyright


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