- Global coronavirus cases could been a third of the current outbreak if safety measures were implemented five days earlier, an analyst said.
- A study shows that the peak of coronavirus was hit in February, and is set to weaken by April.
- The virus is still spreading rapidly globally, especially in Europe.
A study published on the Journal of Thoracic Disease by researchers at Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health shows the coronavirus epidemic would have tripled in size if the quarantine and safety precautions were implemented five days later.
According to financial analyst George Hallam, it also can be interpreted as follows: if the implementation of safety precautions was done five days earlier, the world would be dealing with one-third of coronavirus infections today.
Coronavirus could have been much worse
Researchers of the study found that the coronavirus epidemic should peak in February and slowly dwindle down by the end of April, although virologists in the U.K. and Wales disagree.
Had quarantine on the entire Hubei region not been imposed, researchers noted that a second peak of the coronavirus epidemic would have lasted until late April.
The paper read:
We found that the epidemic of China should peak by late February, showing gradual decline by end of April. A five-day delay in implementation would have increased epidemic size in mainland China three-fold. Lifting the Hubei quarantine would lead to a second epidemic peak in Hubei province in mid March and extend the epidemic to late April, a result corroborated by the machine learning prediction.
The paper can be interpreted in two ways; the coronavirus outbreak in China could have been much worse had quarantine was delayed for five more days, and also could have seen substantially less infected individuals if quarantine was imposed five days earlier.
This paper suggests that if the Chinese containment measures were applied five days later, the damage would be three-fold; if they were introduced five days earlier, there would be one-third of today’s infections.
A positive takeaway from the study is that the peak of the coronavirus outbreak is likely to have passed.
Through the usage of the “Spike” protein, scientists have started to speed up the development of vaccines to combat coronavirus.
The total number of recovered coronavirus patients surpassed 50,000, raising the recovery rate from the virus to 54%.
There is still a problem
The problem is that the coronavirus outbreak in China has spread to neighboring countries and also to Europe and the U.S., increasing the probability of a true global pandemic occurring.
South Korea, for instance, surpassed 5,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on March 4. Countries that have not seen many infections prior to March like India have also recorded more than two dozen cases in the last week.
Based on the data from COVID2019 App, a platform that pulls official data from the authorities, confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran and Italy have surpassed 2,900 and 2,500 respectively.
The highly contagious nature of coronavirus, which increases in regions with lacking safety precautions, has led the virus to spread fast throughout Europe especially.
Since late February, governments across Asia and Europe have started to implement innovative systems to better detect and diagnose coronavirus in an attempt to contain the virus outbreak.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.