Coronavirus will kill 40 million people if left unchecked

Coronavirus will kill 40 million people if left unchecked
Coronavirus will kill 40 million people if left unchecked

If the COVID-19 pandemic is not countered, almost the entire population of the planet will be infected this year, and the death toll will reach 40 million. However, promptly taken tough measures can reduce the number of victims to one or two million. Such conclusions were made by experts from several research organizations.

The specialists considered several scenarios.

In the worst of these, no one takes any quarantine measures. It is this option that leads to the infection of almost the entire population of the planet within a year and the death of 40 million people. By the way, this is comparable to the number of victims of the Second World War, the bloodiest in the history of mankind.

If the intensity of social contacts is reduced by an average of 40%, and for people over 65 (the most vulnerable category of the population) - by 60%, the number of deaths will halve. However, even then, health systems will quickly become overwhelmed.

In low-income countries "demand" for places in intensive care units will exceed "supply" 25 times (!), And in high-income countries - seven times.

Tighter quarantine measures could greatly mitigate the burden of the pandemic. If right now we implement everywhere the rules established in the most affected countries, then it will be possible to keep the number of deaths at the level of 0.2 cases per hundred thousand population per week. Then the number of victims would have been 1.3 million. If you delay the decisions, waiting for an indicator of 1.6 deaths per hundred thousand of the population per week, then the pandemic will cost humanity 9.3 million lives.

"Our results show that swift, decisive and collective action [taken] right now will save millions of lives next year," concludes co-author Patrick Walker of Imperial College London.

At the same time, the researchers emphasize that their results are only a prediction. No one can say for sure how many lives the coronavirus will eventually claim. However, there is no doubt that the situation is more than serious.

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