AIR said that China had been the most affected by the outbreak with 82,007 cases and 3,338 deaths but was reporting that the number of new cases is declining.
Based on these numbers and those of other countries, AIR made some predictions for the future. “Based on the estimations and projections from the AIR Pandemic Model, we estimate that this may represent a moderately conservative projection of cases; the vast majority will be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms”, said Dr Narges Dorratoltaj, Senior Scientist at AIR. “AIR projections also suggest that the number of mild to moderately symptomatic cases globally from March 18 to April 1 could range between 600,000 and two million, and the number of severe cases could range between 200,000 and 900,000; with deaths ranging from 10,000 to 30,500.”
The firm explained that its estimates account for uncertainty and underreporting, as mild to moderate cases are less likely to be reflected in official reports.
Dorrotoltaj added: “The difference between the low and high ends of the range is driven by a few factors. Uncertainty in the number of confirmed cases and the transmissibility of the virus play a significant role. If containment measures – driven by international and/or local authorities – are successful, this could restrict the human-to-human transmission sufficiently to bring the eventual number of cases to – or even below – the low end of the modelled projected range of cases.”