Coronavirus map latest: UK death rate maybe ‘vastly underestimated’ | World | News

David K. Smith is a professor of chemistry at the University of York in England tweeted: “Important to realise with that the number of cases we see today reflects people infected seven days ago. And the number of deaths reflects people 14 days ago. Vital to project forward and get on top of the virus early rather than only respond.”

This same discrepancy in calculating exact death rates and infection rates was also highlighted by Swiss Head of infectious disease Professor Manuel Battegay.

Referring to the outbreak in Wuhan, he said: “The true number of exposed cases affected in Wuhan may be vastly underestimated.

The official numbers of both cases and deaths reported from Wuhan represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’, potentially skewing case fatality estimates towards patients presenting with more severe disease and fatal outcome.”

The head researcher added: “The resulting number does not represent the true case fatality rate and might be off by orders of magnitude.”

There is a three to nine-day lag between contagion and hospitalisation and another five to 10 day lag between hospitalisation and either recovery or death.

This poses severe challenges to finding an accurate mortality rate.

The UK’s chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said Britain would see “many thousands of people” contract coronavirus.

He also said that the fatality rate will rise before it drops again in the early stages of the outbreak.

Speaking to Sky Dr Harries said: “We will have significant numbers in a way which I think the country is not used to, so large numbers of the population will become infected.”

“The important thing for us is to make sure that we manage those infections and make sure that those individuals who are most affected so are elderly people particularly those with chronic underlying conditions get in touch and get treatment and we support other people in the home environment.”


8.30am update: Pope tells his bishops to go and comfort those affected by coronavirus.

Pope Francis has told priests to go out and ‘meet the coronavirus sick’ as he avoids crowds amid an outbreak that has killed more than 4,000 people.

The 83-year-old pontiff has come down with a cold and cancelled appearances at the Vatican to avoid interacting with worshippers during the crisis.

Sunday’s services were live-streamed as the pope decided not to address crowds from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square as normal.

He will not hold his general audience from there on Wednesday.

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