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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Professor G. Ioannidis explains W.H.O. data: How Much is the Real Mortality of Covid-19 in the World

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The World Health Organization admits that the actual mortality of the crown is 0.23% in the general population and 0.05% in people under 70 years of age.

This practically means that in the 1,000 people in the world who are infected with the coronavirus, about two die, while in people up to 70 years of age the proportion is much lower (about four deaths per 10,000 cases).

With such numbers one wonders why then the whole planet is paralyzed with covid-19 measures and lockdowns.

This is a new study, by a distinguished Greek scientist of the diaspora, Professor Giannis Ioannidis of the Medical School of the University of California, published in “Bulletin of the WHO”, the official scientific journal of the WHO and which compiles data from 82 studies, on the mortality of coronavirus The study concludes that the median mortality is 0.23% in the general population and 0.05% in people under 70 years of age.

If corrected the fact that the studies so far concern more populations in countries with a high death toll (i.e. if one could take into account population samples equally from every corner of the Earth), G. Ioannidis argues that the actual average mortality of Covid-19 in most countries is probably less than 0.20%. Globally he estimates to be perhaps 0.15% overall (regardless of age) and 0.03% to 0.04% in people under 70.

As he believes, with appropriate non-pharmaceutical measures to protect the most vulnerable groups, real mortality may be further reduced in the future.

His study shows that covid-19 mortality can vary significantly from region to region, even within the same country (e.g. France). This, among other things, reflects differences in the age distribution of the population, in how many nursing homes there are, how burdened hospitals are, how faithfully precautions are observed, to what extent there is comorbidity (coexistence of other diseases in the same person), how poor a population is, and other local or genetic factors. For this reason, it points out that the assessment of a single and uniform indicator of real mortality for an entire country may inevitably not give the real picture when there are large variations from region to region.

He also points out that his estimates of mortality tend to be much lower than those made at the beginning of the pandemic, about how deadly the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is.

Early estimates from China put mortality at 3.4%, as it was not yet clear how large the number of asymptomatic vectors of the virus was. Later, other models estimated mortality at around 1%. Following his new lower estimates, G. Ioannidis once again opposes a resumption of lockdown measures in the various countries.

The estimate of the actual mortality rate, i.e. the probability of death of someone infected with the coronavirus, refers to the proportion of deaths, relative to the actual number of cases (not just those diagnosed).

G. Ioannidis is mainly based on seroprevalence studies, conducted until September in groups around the world, from which it is then estimated how many people in the general population have actually been infected.

Pandemic scenarios by 2024

In another publication in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, G. Ioannidis, who is internationally known in the field of medical statistics, attempts an overall assessment of the epidemiology of Covid-19 in the full pandemic cycle (2020-2024).

Among other things, it estimates that between 1.58 million and 8.76 million people will have died by the end of 2024 (just over a million have already died).

According to Professor G. Ioannidis, the number of deaths will ultimately depend on a number of factors, such as how effectively the elderly and other high-risk groups are protected, how quickly and widely available vaccines and other treatments, and how appropriate measures are taken, what will be the interaction of coronavirus and influenza viruses, how frequent will the recurrent Covid-19 infections be in the same people etc.

Ioannidis points out the big differences in the mortality of Covid-19: At the beginning of October, 66 countries recorded less than one death per 100,000 population, while 17 countries had more than 50 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. He points out that because of these differences, it remains unknown how long the pandemic will take to complete a global cycle (it could be completed before or after 2024).

The actual number of cases is estimated to be about 20 times higher than diagnosed worldwide, i.e. already about 10% of the world’s population. About 40% of infections are completely asymptomatic, while it remains uncertain, he says, how much is the “threshold” of the population that must eventually be infected, in order to achieve “herd immunity” for the rest.

If 60% of the world’s population is infected, it estimates that pandemic deaths worldwide will eventually reach almost 8.8 million. If the infection rate does not exceed 30% (which he considers more reasonable), the deaths will not exceed 4.4 million. If the rate of infections, especially in high-risk groups (the elderly, etc.) is limited to 10% of the world’s population, then even if 60% of the world’s general population is infected, it estimates that the deaths will not exceed 1.8 million.

Regarding the flu, G. Ioannidis estimates that without Covid-19 the flu was expected to cause at least 2.5 million deaths worldwide within the next five years, including 150,000 children under the age of five. As he points out, “it will be very interesting to see if, in the end, the flu deaths in the period 2020-2024 will be really smaller, due to the appearance of Covid-19. “The optimistic scenario is that the flu will subside during the Covid-19 waves, while the pessimistic scenario is that the flu and Covid-19 will hit hard at the same time.”

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