A new study has suggested that one in 5 people across the world have an underlying health condition that can increase the risk of severe COVID-19 if infected. Data was used from 188 countries. It was estimated in a modeling study that 1.7 billion people i.e. 22% of the world population have at least one underlying health condition which increases the risk of severity.
Researchers said that even though estimates do indicate the number of people that must be given priority for protective measures, not all of these individuals will for sure develop severe symptoms if infected.
The study reveals that 4% of the global population can need hospitalization if infected. Thus, the authors have suggested that the high risk of severe coronavirus might be just modest for many having underlying conditions.
Associate Professor Andrew Clark, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), said, “As countries move out of lockdown, governments are looking for ways to protect the most vulnerable from a virus that is still circulating.
“We hope our estimates will provide useful starting points for designing measures to protect those at increased risk of severe disease.
“This might involve advising people with underlying conditions to adopt social distancing measures appropriate to their level of risk, or prioritizing them for vaccination in the future.”