Coronavirus would have killed 40 million if the world didn’t go on lockdown, say experts

Friday, March 27, 2020
By Paul Martin

by: Franz Walker
Friday, March 27, 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of over 24,000 people as of Thursday, but that number could have been much, much worse. A new study points out that the outbreak could have caused 40 million deaths had it not been kept in check.

The study comes from Imperial College London, where researchers estimated the potential scale of the coronavirus pandemic across the globe had measures not been put in place to stop its spread. The paper appeared in the 12the report of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modeling within the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis and the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics.

“Our findings suggest that all countries face a choice between intensive and costly measures to suppress transmission or risk health systems becoming rapidly overwhelmed,” said the study’s co-author Dr. Patrick Walker, a member of the faculty of medicine at Imperial College London.

“However, our results highlight that rapid, decisive and collective action now will save millions of lives in the next year,” Walker added.

Currently, the latest estimates show that the coronavirus has infected over 531,000 people worldwide. However, according to the study, that number could have been as high as 7 billion people — about 90 percent of the world’s population — had it remained unchecked.

Looking at multiple outbreak scenarios

The researchers looked at several possible scenarios for the pandemic, including:

an unmitigated scenario, where no action was taken
a mitigated scenario that involved population-level social distancing, where a uniform reduction in interaction is implemented
a mitigated scenario that involved enhanced social distancing for older adults, in particular, those over 70 years
suppression, where wide-scale social distancing is implemented.

The Rest…HERE

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