01 May 2021: The Pandemic Increasingly Pivots Along An Axis Connecting Brazil And India
India confirmed more than 400,000 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. So did Brazil. Daily mortality in India now exceeds 3,000 as in Brazil. And these numbers are likely to be a gross underestimate as the number of people with a positive Covid-19 test is estimated to be 23% in India and 29% in Brazil, of the actual Coivid-19 population. The majority of Covid patients in both settings do not have unfettered access to a hospital with laboratory testing capabilities.
As the new variants from Brazil and India multiply, mutate and take root across the world, this pandemic is a long way from burning itself out. On the bright side, countries like Israel, Bhutan, Gibraltar and the United Kingdom are poised to have vaccinated enough of their populations to be close to herd immunity. The WHO has stated that the percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated in Covid-19 outbreaks, to achieve herd immunity is not known, though in polio the threshold is 80% and in measles, the figure is 95%.
05 July 2020: The Epicentre Of The Covid-19 Pandemic Pivots From The USA To The United Kingdom to Brazil and now India.
Looking at the pattern of these pivots, it is clear that a second wave of the pandemic is coming. And like the Spanish flu of 1918, it will be a lot worse with mortality likely to be 5 times higher than the first wave. Politicians are wrong to relax lockdown restrictions. The science behind the current drive to ease restrictions is flawed. Our model predicts 100 million new infections worldwide with 5 million deaths. India, Brazil and mainland Europe will have the worst outcomes.
But does it have to be like this?
Italy was the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic until a months weeks ago, with officially more recorded deaths than China where the disease originated. The pandemic continues to spread globally with all 54 countries in Africa now having confirmed the presence of the disease. There are fears that fragile health systems in the third world will be overwhelmed. Here is a map of countries where the presence of Covid-19 has been confirmed.
Data from medics working across China quote 105,000 to 115,000 deaths in Hubei Province alone with another 80,000 deaths in the rest of China in June 2020. This figure across the whole of China has now grown to 375,000. The Chinese government continues to refuse to publish its true mortality figures. But we believe that Covid-19 mortality in China in the week commencing 14 September 2020 was 375,000 to 400,000. When will the Chinese Government start telling the world the truth?
04 April 2020: Covid-19 Is Now A Pandemic
With 158 countries and territories globally and in every continent, confirming cases of coronovirus infection in their populations, Covid-19 is now officially a pandemic. The number of infected countries and territories is up from 127 just seven days ago, on 13 March 2020. Here is a map of live updates of countries where the presence of Covid-19 has been confirmed. The maps on the right side of this page show the global burden of the coronavirus disease as of 13 March 2020 and on 21 March 2020.
Guidance for doctors issued by CDC can be found by clicking here. Help for governments and local authorities struggling with doctor recruitment to tackle the outbreak can be found by clicking here.
Covid-19 global disease burden as of 21 March 2020
Covid-19 global disease burden: 13 March 2020
Background Of Covid-19
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.
Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.
Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside Hubei and in countries outside China. Italy has now recorded more Covid-19 deaths than China and is the current epicentre of the pandemic.
A Novel Virus Causing A New Pandemic
A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide and community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries. On March 11, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterised as a pandemic by the WHOexternal icon. This is the first pandemic known to be caused by the emergence of a new coronavirus. In the past century, there have been four pandemics caused by the emergence of novel influenza viruses. As a result, most research and guidance around pandemics is specific to influenza, but the same premises can be applied to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemics of respiratory disease follow a certain progression outlined in a “Pandemic Intervals Framework.” Pandemics begin with an investigation phase, followed by recognition, initiation, and acceleration phases. The peak of illnesses occurs at the end of the acceleration phase, which is followed by a deceleration phase, during which there is a decrease in illnesses. Different countries can be in different phases of the pandemic at any point in time and different parts of the same country can also be in different phases of a pandemic.