More than 400 million COVID-19 cases worldwide!When will the outbreak end?
According to the latest real-time statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world reached 4,02,044,502 as of 00:13 Beijing time on Sunday, surpassing 400 million, with 5,77,0023 deaths.There were 2,332,592 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12,005 deaths worldwide as of Tuesday.In addition to the United States, Russia, Germany, Brazil and other countries have the highest number of cases.Recently, the epidemic situation in the US and some European countries worsened again, and the number of new confirmed cases in a single day hit a new high. It only took about a month for the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the world to increase from 300 million to 400 million.Globally, the highly contagious Omicron virus infected 84 million novel coronavirus cases in the first month of 2022 alone — 84 million — as many as were infected in the whole of 2020.The United States, which currently has the highest level of medical care in the world, has the highest number of infections worldwide.Could the pandemic end soon after the Lancet predicted that half of the world’s population would be infected with Omicron by March?The model of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of the University of Washington published in the Lancet, an authoritative international medical journal, predicts that:COVID-19 is here to stay, but the global pandemic is likely to end soon, the critical point being March, when half the world’s population will be infected with the Omicron strain and, along with vaccination, an immune barrier will be built.But a day earlier, Who director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the coronavirus pandemic was far from over.Whether the ongoing omicron strain can be the mutated strain that “ends” the COVID-19 pandemic remains controversial.Wu Zunyou: I don’t think the views expressed in this paper are quite accurate.The author of the paper is a statistician, one of the world’s leading experts in mathematical modeling, whose knowledge of biology and viruses is not particularly clear.He made this assumption based on the flu — if the previous flu had ended in two years, the coronavirus pandemic, two years into its current run, should be coming to an end.He is basing his analysis on this logic, and there are some practical challenges to this assumption, given that there are many differences between influenza and COVID-19.The first is that the duration of immunity is usually up to a year after infection with influenza, while the duration of immunity is generally around three to six months after infection with COVID-19.The second is that the Novel Coronavirus changes very quickly, almost daily.The variation of influenza virus is regular, and the variation cycle is long, usually a year or a few years, in this year or several years, if the variation of the virus is only within the “subtype”, it will not affect the cross protection.Therefore, given the characteristics of the virus mutation and the two-year rule of the COVID-19 epidemic, the argument that March is the critical time point for the end of the pandemic is not based on sufficient scientific evidence.Dr Wu judged that the trend of novel coronavirus prevalence would certainly decline in the coming period of time, as the prevalence of each new strain tends to decline after its peak. Omicron has already begun to decline in South Africa and has also shown signs of decline after a period of epidemic in other countries.According to the global epidemic situation, the Novel coronavirus shows an epidemic pattern, and there are bound to be periods of decline after the peak of the epidemic. Therefore, globally speaking, there is a possibility and a high possibility that the epidemic will weaken in March or some time in the future.Dr. Gregory Poland, a top epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic, has warned the world that the coronavirus pandemic will last into the next century.Dr Poland said it was too early to believe that novel Coronavirus would become an endemic influenza virus, despite many optimistic predictions.At present, the vast majority of patients infected with Omicron have mild symptoms, suggesting a milder nature, but given its high infectivity, many experts believe it could turn a Novel coronavirus pandemic into an endemic influenza virus.But Dr Polan does not take the same optimistic view.”We’re not at any stage where we can predict an epidemic, where we can’t eradicate it.”In addition, the Doctor noted that novel Coronavirus has shown the ability to infect animals, meaning that it could spread indefinitely as it spreads across species and continues to mutate, so that people will still receive COVID-19 vaccines for generations to come.With the coronavirus spreading so rampant among vaccinated, unvaccinated and even among animals, Poland and other experts fear it will not be contained for decades to come.Why can’t the new coronavirus be eradicated for so long?SARS in 2003 went away on its own?Think back to 2003, when the SARS outbreak, the SARS virus, started, the whole country was in a state of panic, schools closed, factories closed, businesses closed, the whole society was in a terrible atmosphere.After the first case was found, SARS spread with extreme speed, affecting 32 countries and regions around the world.It eventually infected 8,422 people and killed 919.This is very similar to the beginning of the epidemic, but after nine months, SARS disappeared by itself. Why?Some experts believe that high temperatures killed the coronavirus, but why is it so difficult to eliminate the new coronavirus?From this point of view, it is clear that heat has lost its role, and there are many differences between the two coronaviruses: first, the novel coronavirus is originally a variant of the coronavirus, a brand new coronavirus, so the two should not be confused.Although the two are similar, there are obvious differences in transmission and attack power.The former is aggressive but weak, the latter is better at coexisting with humans, plus its super infectious, the death toll in the United States alone has reached 900,000, equivalent to the Sakha Republic disappearing from the map of the world.Second, the source of SARS has been identified and the host is bats, but the source of COVID-19 is still unknown. Many countries had earlier infections before the outbreak.Scientists are still trying to figure out why this happened, but the source is still uncertain and the outbreak is still difficult to eliminate.Third, it is related to the lack of attention of various countries. SARS lasted for only 9 months and was killed by high temperature before it spread further. However, the novel coronavirus has swept the world and western countries paid no attention to it, resulting in its continuous spread and mutation, and finally gave birth to variants of different lethality.These three points are the superficial reasons why COVID-19 is difficult to eliminate, and further investigation is needed as to why it cannot be completely eradicated.Although the epidemic may persist, it is optimistic that the global vaccination rate of COVID-19 has exceeded 50%, and further research and development of COVID-19 vaccines and specific drugs are underway.Experts say that the global epidemic situation is on the right track compared to the previous two years, and that the COVID-19 epidemic will slow down, if not end, in 2022.