If Coronavirus is not controlled, it will spread to about two-thirds or 60% of the world population, as per a leading public health epidemiologist of Hong Kong.
His warning has come up following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) head’s statement about the recent cases of coronavirus patients who had never visited China.
The chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University Prof Gabriel Leung said that many experts believe that each person infected will transmit the virus to around 2.5 other people. This means that the attack rate would be 60-80%.
Leung said, “Sixty percent of the world’s population is an awfully big number.” Even if the genera fatality rate is 1%, it still means that the death toll would be huge.
The main issue is the scale of the spread of Coronavirus and the priority is to found out whether China has taken effective measures to prevent its spread or not.
Leung, one of the world’s experts on coronavirus epidemics warned at the end of January that outbreaks were likely to be “growing exponentially” in cities in China.
Adding elsewhere, “independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable” as there will be movement of those who have been infected but their symptoms might not have developed as of yet.
He said, “Is 60-80% of the world’s population going to get infected? Maybe not. Maybe this will come in waves. Maybe the virus is going to attenuate its lethality because it certainly doesn’t help it if it kills everybody in its path because it will get killed as well.”
Adding, “Have these massive public health interventions, social distancing, and mobility restrictions worked in China? If so, how can we roll them out, or is it not possible?”
He said there will be difficulties. “Let’s assume that they have worked. But how long can you close schools for? How long can you lock down an entire city for? How long can you keep people away from shopping malls? And if you remove those [restrictions], then is it all going to come right back and rage again? So those are very real questions.”
He said that for now it is important to contain the spread of coronavirus. Everybody should ideally be tested every couple of days.