Worst-case scenario for coronavirus deaths ‘imperfect and has to rely on a number of assumptions’

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Credit: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency

On Monday [March 16], the COVID-19 Response Team at Imperial College London released a report that describes its efforts to create a model of how various control efforts could alter the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic in the US and UK. …

The report paints a grim picture of millions of deaths in the two countries if nothing is done… .

Before this induces panic, however, it’s important to emphasize that these outcomes are based on a model that, because of the incomplete information we currently possess, is imperfect and has to rely on a number of assumptions. We’ll go over all of these limitations before going into detail on the conclusions the Imperial College team derived from the model.

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While the critical care capacity remains fixed, most mediation methods allow enough cases to vastly exceed it.


While the authors do their best to base their assumptions on real-world data here, all of the values that describe the coronavirus’ behavior are uncertain.

The biggest test of this model is that some countries that were aggressive about testing and suppression efforts have successfully limited the spread of the coronavirus and are beginning to lift their restrictions. If the authors’ model is accurate, then countries like China and South Korea are at risk of seeing a resurgence of cases.

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Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
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