Where will the impact of coronavirus be felt next?
In the wake of an event that has uncertain ramifications worldwide – such as the spread of the coronavirus – public sector agencies, financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies need information that can give them early indication of where the impact will be felt next.
Online attention data reveals global and regional levels of concern and provides context on how attention patterns evolve. Predata’s indicators measuring online attention to coronavirus show attention to previous pandemics and global economies as an indicator of shifts in the virus’ online salience.
Analysis and Results
After noting heightened global attention to coronavirus and previous pandemics in late-January 2020, Predata saw attention to coronavirus, pandemics, the WHO, and past disease outbreaks such as SARS drop off over the course of February. The steady lack of engagement amplified the difficulty faced by public health organizations, who struggled to convince their populations to prepare for an outbreak.
There were some signs, however, that perceptions of the coronavirus threat were beginning to shift. On February 20, Predata alerted customers that global interest in the outbreak was increasingly driven by Italian- and Japanese-language audiences. Four days after the Predata alert, Italian authorities reported a sharp spike in coronavirus infections. In light of the relatively low level of global attention to coronavirus, the news came as a severe shock, driving enhanced measures from public sector agencies and sharp losses in global financial markets.