Brazil variant: Professor shares concerns over coronavirus strain
They also said the global impact from the pandemic could be worse in 2021 compared to last year. The first human case of COVID-19 was reported by officials in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.
Since its initial outbreak in China, the coronavirus has spread to nearly every country in the world.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 93 million people across the world have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
The total coronavirus death toll has so far reached 1,993,164, according to the university’s figures.
But Chinese scientists have said the death toll could hit five million by the beginning of March.
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The figures were calculated by a team from China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s People’s Liberation Army and public health research institutes.
The study was published earlier this month in the journal Disease Surveillance.
Professor Xu Jianguo from the CDC, warned the Chinese government and public to brace for more impacts.
According to the South China Morning Post, Professor Xu said: “The development of the pandemic is hard to foresee, but a numerical estimate by modelling can provide some useful information.”
Professor Xu also estimated that the total global number of COVID-19 infections could rise to 170 million in early March.
The scientist said the US is likely to be the worst hit.
America has already topped the charts with the highest number of coronavirus deaths and cases in the world.
The US has registered a total of 23,282,329 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
America’s coronavirus death toll has reach 388,159 since the start of the pandemic.
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Professor Xu predicted that in the worst cases, the US could hit 32 million COVID-19 infections, or 20 percent of the world’s total.
The study also said that even in the best scenario in which people are obeying effective coronavirus rules and receiving the vaccine, a further 300,000 people would die from the virus by early March.
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Benjamin Neuman, GHRC chief virologist at Texas A&M University, said there are many uncertainties when trying to estimate the future of the pandemic.
Such uncertainties included politics, fatigue, attitudes towards science, traditions and the spread of false information.
He told the paper: “In the best case, with common sense, suitable precautions, and the current crop of effective vaccines, the total would not ever have to reach 3 million deaths.
“The worst case scenario could be much worse than 7 million … the future of Covid-19 is very much in our hands.”
In the UK, the death toll has reached a total of 86,015.
On Wednesday, Britain recorded its highest daily coronavirus death of 1,564.
It was the most UK deaths related to COVID-19 recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
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