First encountered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 has spread rapidly within China and reached many other countries as well. COVID-19 is highly transmissible, with no vaccine or treatment currently available, and on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Will the coronavirus lead to an unprecedented global pandemic, as some experts predict? Or are warnings over the dangers of COVID-19 just fearmongering?
Coronavirus will cause irreparable harmShow moreShow less
The COVID-19 pandemic will wreak havoc on the global population and devastate the economy.
As one country flattens its curve, another is approaching its peak. The total excess deaths caused by coronavirus are impossible to predict, and thus difficult to plan for. Lives will continue to be lost and by the end, no one will emerge untouched by this disease.
COVID-19 has potential to become one of the deadliest pandemic diseases in human history. The World Health Organization published the Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on February 28, 2020, estimating the death rates of COVID-19 based on 55,924 laboratory-confirmed cases in China. In the early stages of the outbreak in January 2020, the crude fatality rate was found to be over 17%, while this rate had reduced to 0.7% for cases identified in February thanks to improved standards of care.
With new cases of COVID-19 emerging around the world by the end of February 2020, experts have predicted that ultimately 60-70% of the global population could be infected by the coronavirus. A 60% infection rate for 2020's global population of almost 8 billion would mean that, even if a relatively low fatality rate around 1% was maintained, tens of millions of people would eventually die from COVID-19. A death toll of that magnitude would make the coronavirus outbreak the deadliest pandemic in at least 100 years, since the Spanish flu infected 500 million people and killed 50-100 million between 1918 and 1920.
Rejecting the premises
This page was last edited on Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 01:35 UTC