After the worldwide measures like lockdowns, testing and tracking to prevent the coronavirus disease, the world has more than 600,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with deaths nearing 28,000. If such mitigation measures were not taken, says a report, that the pandemic could have infected 90 percent of the world's population and killed 40.6 million people. If ten million deaths are prevented, it would mean a saving of $10 trillion for the goverment.
Estimates from COVID-19 Response Team at the Imperial College London highlighted the importance of acting early to suppress the outbreak. The report further said that there would have been seven billion infections globally; in the absence of mitigation measures. The measures saved 20 million lives. It shielded the elderly, by 60 percent reduction in social contraction of the coronavirus.
Importance of early action to tackle virus outbreak
"Health systems in all countries will be quickly overwhelmed," says the report and countries with lower income settings and low capacities would peak demand for critical care beds.
"Our analysis therefore suggests that healthcare demand can only be kept within manageable levels through the rapid adoption of public health measures (including testing and isolation of cases and wider social distancing measures) to suppress transmission," the report adds.
If such a suppression strategy is implemented early and sustained, more lives would be saved. About 38.7 million lives could be saved, when a country has one death for 500,000 populations per week, but if such strategies are initiated at a death rate as high as 1.6 per 100,000 populations per week, then only 30.7 million lives could be saved.
US President Trump recently said, economic damage in case of social distancing measures could be worse than the damage done after the mitigation measures. However, models prove otherwise.
The coronavirus outbreak is spreading like wildfire at this point of time. It has been described as a pandemic by the WHO and the epicentre is probably shifting from Europe to USA .