The number of COVID-19 cases globally over the next four weeks may reach 50 million total cases, with 644,000 estimated deaths, according to estimates provided by Verisk’s catastrophe modeling unit, AIR Worldwide, on May 20.
As of May 19, 2020, there were 4,731,458 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 316,169 deaths worldwide, said AIR, quoting figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was declared a pandemic on March 11 by the WHO.
AIR noted that actual counts are likely to be substantively higher as a result of underreporting for both cases and deaths.
As of the May 19, the WHO said the United States has 1,477,516 confirmed coronavirus cases and 89,272 deaths, said AIR.
“Variance in publicly reported estimates stems from a number of factors, not the least of which are misreporting and underreporting of infections and deaths,” said Doug Fullam, director of life and health modeling, Verisk.
“Underreporting is driven by the fact that as much as 60%-80% of people infected with COVID-19 may exhibit no symptoms or only mild symptoms and, most likely, do not get tested,” he added.
“The cases of COVID-19 that are reported, therefore, represent at best only 20%-40% of the total population,” Fullam continued. “Therefore, in all likelihood, underreporting is substantively higher. Testing more widely in the general population would lead to more accurate numbers of cases and deaths being reported.”
Forward projections and a breakdown of cases and deaths by country are provided in the Verisk COVID-19 Projection Tool. Fullam explained that the projections from Projection Tool take into account this underreporting.
All the information used in this analysis is derived from the AIR Pandemic Model, a stochastic modeling framework that can simulate the impact of a pandemic by age and sex for more than 10,000 tessels (similar to municipality).
For coronavirus pathogens, the AIR Pandemic Model estimates the cases on a daily basis using a modeling framework that allows AIR to model the disease dynamics, including but not limited to: travel patterns and restrictions; changes to mitigation efforts; introduction of pharmaceutical or nonpharmaceutical interventions; and impact on transmission due to changes in susceptible population.
Source: AIR Worldwide
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