A high-ranking official at the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) reportedly declared Monday the agency’s “best estimates” indicate about ten percent of the globe, or over 765 million people, have contracted the Chinese coronavirus. This figure overshadows the number of confirmed infections by over 20 times.
Referring to the worldwide infection rate of one in ten, Dr. Mike Ryan, the head of emergencies at W.H.O., described ten percent as “our best guess” to date based on those who now have antibodies to the deadly and highly contagious COVID-19 (coronavirus disease).
“The disease continues to spread. It is on the rise in many parts of the world,” Ryan declared Monday, several news outlets reported. “Our current best estimates tell us that about ten percent of the global population may have been infected by this virus.”
He cautioned that the globe is in “for a hell of a ride for the next eight or nine months” as it awaits a vaccine, but he warned that a vaccine would “not be a silver bullet, but an additional tool that should be added to a comprehensive strategy to fight this disease.”
There is a global race towards discovering a vaccine involving the United States and many other countries. However, currently, there are no immunizations against any coronaviruses in humans.
Officials reached the ten percent estimate using an average of antibody studies conducted worldwide, Dr. Margaret Harris, a W.H.O. spokeswoman, explained.
Breitbart News gleaned the over 765 million (ten percent from the global population) estimate from the U.S. Census’s constantly changing world population projection, which stood at 7.687 billion as of Tuesday morning.
Sen. Thom Tillis contracted the Chinese coronavirus following last week's Rose Garden event despite wearing a mask at the gathering. https://t.co/PGUeAS4RFF
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 5, 2020
The 765 million infections exceed the number of confirmed cases tallied by the W.H.O. and Johns Hopkins University — standing at over 35.5 million as of Tuesday morning — by over 20 times.
Health analysts have long noted that the number of confirmed cases is only a snapshot of the real number of infections that include mild cases and asymptomatic cases that do not require medical attention.
Ryan said his concerns lie with those who have not caught the virus.
“The problem is there is more than six billion left. Therein lies our problem,” Ryan told webinar hosted by the Royal Irish Academy (R.I.A.) entitled Learning from Pandemics: a Century of Experience and attended by governments who make up the executive board and provide much of the W.H.O.’s funding, the Irish Times revealed.
Dr. Harris said the estimated 90 percent of people who have not caught the virus means there is a risk for it to spread further “if we don’t take action to stop it,” such as by contact-tracing and other similar means.
W.H.O. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added:
What we have learned in every region of the world is that with strong leadership, clear and comprehensive strategies, consistent communication, and [an] engaged, empowered, and enabled population, it’s never too late … Every situation can be turned around — and hard-won gains can be easily lost.
The roughly 1.039 million global deaths, per the W.H.O., coupled with the agency’s “best” estimate for infections, suggests the infection fatality rate (IFR) stands at an estimated 0.135, or similar to the flu, much lower than previous estimates released before the lockdown.
Unlike the less accurate, but more widely used confirmed case fatality rate, the IFR takes into account asymptomatic and mild cases that do not make it into the hospital.
That means a lot more people are contracting the virus without dying than previously thought.
Ryan acknowledged that the virus figures vary from urban to rural settings and between different groups, but it boils down to the fact that “the vast majority of the world remains at risk.”
While the virus will continue to evolve, there are tools in place to suppress the spread and protect lives, he said.
“Many deaths have been averted and many more lives can be protected,” Ryan proclaimed, stressing there is a “difficult period,” ahead.
Although U.S. President Donald Trump has officially withdrawn the United States from the W.H.O., accusing it of helping China hide the extent of the virus during its early stages, costing many lives, and messing up its global response.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration’s Assistant Secretary of Health Brett Giroir, the representative on the board, told attendees via videoconference that America “looks forward to working together to defeat this pandemic and move our people and economics back to normalcy.”
However, Giroir pressed the W.H.O. to cut its relationship with communist China.
According to Johns Hopkins, COVID-19 has infected over 35.5 million people and killed more than one million others.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
CORRECTION: The eighth paragraph of this story mistakenly read 765 billion, rather than the correct 765 million. This story has been updated accordingly.