Up to 10% of world has been infected with COVID-19 – What does that mean for fatality rate?

The Associated Press reported that 10% of the world may be infected with COVID-19 on Oct.5th, 2020 – an estimate that is “more than 20 times the number of confirmed cases.”

The report came after the WHO held a special session for their 34-member executive board that focused on COVID-19. At this special session, The Head of Emergencies for the WHO, Dr. Michael Ryan told the executive board that “our current best estimates tell us that about 10% of the global population may have been infected by this virus (COVID). This varies depending on the country, it varies from urban to rural, it varies between different groups.

Dr. Michael Ryan continued;

“But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk. We know the pandemic will continue to evolve, but we also know that we have the tools that work to suppress transmission and save lives right now there at our disposal. The future depends on the choices we collectively make about how we use those tools.”

The estimate was obtained using seroprevalence data

According to the Associated Press article “Dr. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokeswoman said it was based on an average of antibody studies conducted around the world.” This means they took the average of the studies and extrapolated that data and found that roughly 20 times more infections had occurred than had been confirmed across the globe.

More than 20 times the number of confirmed cases

Although this article is from October, it is worth noting as it points to a glaring issue – case fatality rate and infection fatality rate tell entirely different stories. If we assume that every single case of COVID-19 has been caught since the statement by Dr. Michael Ryan of the WHO was made – then there is still over 7 times the amount of people that have been infected with COVID-19 but that have not been confirmed as an “official case.

Let’s break down Canada’s numbers – as of Feb 9th, 2021 we’ve had 810,797 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20,909 deaths with COVID-19. This means that our current case fatality rate in Canada is 2.58% – a figure that certainly demands attention. However, the vast majority of these come from those in long-term care and retirement homes and are above the age of 70.

Now let us account for what Dr. Michael Ryan of the WHO said in October and let’s assume that we’ve caught every single case of infection within Canada and in the world since that announcement was made. The “best estimates” would indicate that the total number of cases globally would be over 780 million (10% of the global population). 

Now as Dr. Michael Ryan indicated, the numbers vary from rural to urban and country to country – but let us just assume we’ve caught every single case of COVID-19 since that announcement was made and that we’ve stayed at the same number of infections of that estimate (780 million infected not 108 million) since October.

This would mean in Canada that our current infection fatality rate would be 0.37% – a far cry from the case fatality rate of 2.58%. This is again assuming that no new cases have been missed and that the “best estimate” for the total number of cases is still only 10% of the global population.

This is only 7 times higher and not the original 20 times higher as touted by Dr. Ryan when he first made the statement in October of 2020.

Death rate likely much lower than reported

This would mean that the death rate is drastically lower based on Dr. Michael Ryan’s “best estimate” and that locking down our societies makes even less sense in light of this information.

Canada’s death rate when accounting for 10% of the population being “infected”

Our death rate when we calculate for 10% of the Canadian population being infected means that roughly 3.8 million Canadians have been infected with COVID-19 and 20,909 have died with COVID-19.

This would make our infection fatality rate closer to 0.55% (20,909 divided by 3.8 million x 100) within Canada. With over 70% of those deaths coming from Long-term care and retirement homes, it makes almost no sense why we are doing this to our nation.

Swine Flu ended up with an overall estimate case fatality rate of 0.5% – but we didn’t lock down entire nations and districts because of it. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take precautions or that COVID-19 does present a problem to society – but it doesn’t merit hurting our nation’s future. We must protect our vulnerable and we must protect our future – the two are not mutually exclusive from each other. Our actions today affect our future tomorrow – don’t let any other politician convince you otherwise. Actions have consequences – lockdowns included.

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Published by Greg Staley

Greg Staley is a husband, and a father to 3 beautiful girls. He is a concerned citizen who is closely watching his government's actions through critical thinking, and assessment of all qualified and relevant data. He believes in going to the Primary sources of data at all times if possible.