Barometer

Is the Wuhan coronavirus really that deadly?

7 February 2020

10:00 PM

7 February 2020

10:00 PM

Mumbo jumbo

The Prime Minister called opposition to imports of US-produced food ‘mumbo jumbo’. The expression was introduced to the English language in 1795 by Mungo Park in his Travels in the Interior of Africa. It was his way of writing down ‘Maamajomboo’ — the name used by the Mandinka people of West Africa for a pagan god, played by a male dancer, who was sent to intercede in disputes between the multiple wives of local men. Mumbo Jumbo would decide which woman was guilty, then strip her naked and scourge her with a rod. It is a wonder that Boris’s enemies haven’t seized upon his use of the expression as yet one more example of politically incorrect language.

Health check

Deaths from coronavirus reached the 490 mark. How does this outbreak compare with other diseases?
— Avian flu: between 2003 and 2020, the World Health Organization reported that the H5N1 strain of flu had killed 455.
— Sars: by the end of 2003 the WHO reported a death toll of 774.
— Ebola: between 2014 and 2016, ebola killed 11,310 in West Africa.
— Seasonal flu: annual global death toll between 291,000 and 646,000 according to estimates by US-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Electric charges

The government says it will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars from 2035. What does it cost to buy and run an electric car compared with a petrol one?


Nissan Micra (petrol) Base model costs
£14,190

Servicing cost (at official Nissan dealership)
£209
Road tax (per year)
£145
Fuel cost (driving 10,000 miles)
£1,090

Total cost (if you buy car new and run it for ten years, driving 10,000 miles a year)
£28,630

 

Nissan Leaf (electric) Base model costs (taking into account government grant of £3,500)
£26,345

Servicing cost (at official Nissan dealership)
£159
Road tax (per year)
£0

Fuel cost (driving 10,000 miles)
£350

Total cost (if you buy car new and run it for ten years, driving 10,000 miles a year)
£31,435

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