In a best case it could be 15m deaths from COVID-19

New modeling from The Australian National University looks at seven scenarios of how the COVID-19 outbreak might affect the world's wealth, ranging from low severity to high severity.

Four of the seven scenarios in the paper examine the impact of COVID-19 spreading outside China, ranging from low to high severity. A seventh scenario examines a global impact in which a mild pandemic occurs each year indefinitely.

But even in the low-severity model — or best-case scenario of the seven, which the paper acknowledged were not definitive — ANU researchers estimate a global GDP loss of $2.4 trillion, with an estimated death toll of 15 million. They modeled their estimates on the Hong Kong flu pandemic, an outbreak in 1968-1969 that is estimated to have killed about 1 million people.

In the high-severity model — modeled after the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 17 million to 50 million globally from 1918 to 1920 — the global GDP loss could be as high as $9 trillion. In that model, the death toll is estimated to surpass 68 million.

"Our scenarios show that even a contained outbreak could significantly impact the global economy in the short run," said Warwick McKibbin, a professor of economics at ANU who was one of the paper's authors.

"Even in the best-case scenario of a low-severity impact, the economic fallout is going to be enormous and countries need to work together to limit the potential damage as much as possible," he added.

The research aims to help policymakers respond to the economic impact of COVID-19 as the disease continues to spread.

"There needs to be vastly more investment in public health and development, especially in the poorest countries," McKibbin said. "It is too late to attempt to close borders once the disease has taken hold in many other countries and a global pandemic has started."

The death toll is still evolving

Medical workers at a hospital in Chennai, India, on January 29 inside a ward specializing in receiving people who may have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Medical workers at a hospital in Chennai, India, on January 29 inside a ward specializing in receiving people who may have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
P. Ravikumar/Reuters

A patient's risk of dying from COVID-19 varies based on several factors, including where they are treated, their age, and any preexisting health conditions.

A study conducted last month from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the virus most seriously affected older people with preexisting health problems. The data suggests a person's chances of dying from the disease increase with age.

Notably, the research showed that patients ages 10 to 19 had the same chance of dying from COVID-19 as patients in their 20s and 30s, but the disease appeared to be much more fatal in people ages 50 and over.

About 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild, the research showed, and experts think many mild cases haven't been reported because some people aren't going to the doctor or hospitals for treatment. more  

View all 9 comments Below 9 comments
Population, Corruption and Injustice have grown many manifold and it is time for such High level reduction in all things - even 3o million is no loss to the Country as long as our work forces in all fronts as well as youth are safe. I am 75 and prepared to die to reduce burden on the Nation more  
It appears like a thesis on the subject. More than statistics the world needs antidote to the virus. more  
One should undertake travel only if necessary. Avoid crowded places like malls, bars, theaters, etc. more  
These are purely statistical modeling and are not true ! The worst scenario will be about 1,00,000 deaths and about 4 millions infected and cured. The death rate is only 3.4% worldwide . Generally, a change is Climate will reduce the intensity of viral spread So by end April, this COVID -19 will come down worldwide Bur may reappear in Dec/ Jan 2021 in any country like China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or Japan . more  
good vision, lets Surakshit Bharat and swachha Bharat more  
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