Billions of people are now living under some form of stay-at-home (also known as lockdown). The question of when to ease shutdowns is a hot topic, as economic output is halted in many countries — including India.
One question is likely on the mind of many: When will the coronavirus pandemic end?
No one knows for sure, but it’s probably not any time soon. No one knows how this ends. People are pondering over one question: When will the coronavirus pandemic end?
People want to know when they can touch again and whisper closely. When they can walk through the crowd – bumping shoulders & inhaling perfume. They wonder when they’ll be able to send their children to school.
How and When will the coronavirus pandemic end?
The epidemic/pandemic status will go away.
But more than that, NO epidemic/pandemic disease that we know of can possibly threaten the species. As people recover (98–99% of cases recover), they steadily increase the proportion of immune people in the population.
Think about that.
And we can calculate the percentage needed to stop this pandemic increasing. It is about 61%. This is called the transmission threshold.
So the WORST case scenario is that 62% of the population becomes infected (incidence rate), 98–99% of these survive (60–61% of the population). At this point, about 61% are now immune, 1% have died, and 38% are still susceptible, but “screened” from epidemic spread though the dominance of immune people.
From that point, the pandemic stops spreading, while more than that and the epidemic curve is in reduction mode until only sporadic cases are seen. This assumes 1% case fatality rate. This example would result in Covid19-specific mortality rate of 0.006 or 0.6%.
1) HERD COMMUNITY:
There’s a consensus that the pandemic will only end with the establishment of so-called herd immunity. That occurs when enough people in a community are protected from a virus that it can’t take hold any more and soon dies out. There are two paths to achieve that outcome. One is immunization. Scientists would have to develop a vaccine that proves safe and effective against the coronavirus.
How do we manage until then? For many countries, the strategy is to lock down movement to dramatically slow the spread of virus, closing businesses and schools, banning social gatherings and keeping people at home. The idea is to prevent a huge explosion of infections that burdens the medical system, causing excessive deaths as care is being rationed. This is also called “Flattening the curve”.
2) COVID-19 could be seasonal
New study says ‘high temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduce’ spread of COVID-19.
According to the researchers’ findings, “High temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduce the transmission of COVID-19.” An increase of just one degree Celsius and 1% relative humidity increase substantially lower the virus’s transmission, according to the data analyzed by the researchers.
Using the value R to represent the transmission, the paper also found that cities in northern China, where temperatures and relative humidity were lower, had larger transmission values than cities along the country’s southeast coast.
3) Viral Mutation
All viruses gains mutations over time or undergo changes in their genomes. Scientists are hoping that SARS-CoV-2, which shares 85% genetic similarity to original SARS virus, will mutate in a potentially beneficial way practically leading to its own death.
4) Track and Trace
Another scenario works well only in relatively small and isolated areas. “You basically look around at any infection you can find, work backwards to find out who were all people they had been in contact with, test them, and if they test positive, isolate them.”
It works in Tasmania, Singapore, and, to a certain extent, in South Korea, whose only border is with its northern brother, and closed.
It makes no sense for France or the UK or any other big country, where you have hundreds of thousands of new cases per day, there is just no way that you are going to be able to track and trace them.
5) Corona-Virus could go the SARS Way.
COVID-19 outbreak is similar to the 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in many ways: Both are coronaviruses that originated in bats, and both likely jumped from animals to people in Chinese animal markets.
The two viruses share about 80% of their DNA. So the outcome of the new outbreak could be similar to that of SARS, too. SARS killed 774 people and infected more than 8,000 between November 2002 and July 2003 but disappeared by 2004.
So, COVID-19 would either disappear eventually or become like Zika or H1N1.
What will India Do?
It is going to be tougher for India with its vast size, densely packed population and highly-pressurized public health system. Also, no country in the world possibly has so much inter-state migration of casual workers, who are the backbone of the services and construction industries.
How will India manage to return these workers to their work places – factories, farms, building sites, shops – without a substantial easing of public transport at a time when crowded trains and buses can be a carrier of transmission and easily neutralise the gains of the lockdown? Even allowing restricted mobility – allowing social distancing, temperature checks and passenger hygiene – would put considerable pressure on the public transport system.
This week Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the “situation in the country is akin to a social emergency”. His government now needs make sure that the looming threat to the nation’s health and economic progress is tackled skilfully.
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