A scientific study has made an estimation of the final size of the COVID-19 epidemic in Pakistan, which is grossly appalling. The study tells that about 90 percent of the population in the country is going to become victim of the viral infection by June end.
“The COVID-19 in Pakistan is spreading at an exponential rate and a point may soon be reached where rigorous prevention measures would be needed to be adopted. Mathematical models can help define the scale of an epidemic and the rate at which an infection can spread in a community,” the report based on scientific calculation made by two scholars — Quaid-a-Azam university, Islamabad’s F Syed and Institute of Business Administration, Karachi’s S Sibgatullah — reads.
The study focuses on modelling the COVID-19 epidemic in Pakistan to estimate the number of infections, the peak infection day, the rate of increase of infections per day and the resolution of the end-point of the epidemic.
They used SIR model to predict the size of the Coronavirus in Pakistan and compared the numbers with the reported cases in the country. According to Wolfram Mathworld, an SIR model is an epidemiological model that computes the theoretical number of people infected with a contagious illness in a closed population over time.
The results of the calculation prognosticate that Pakistan could hit the peak number of infection cases on May 26 the following year and by June 24, 2020, 90 percent of the people would become infected, unless rigorous measures to curb the spread of the disease were taken.
The first infection case of Pakistan had surfaced in its largest city, Karachi, on Feb 26. The patient had a travel history to Iran and was isolated after testing positive for the COVID-19. This case was followed by hundreds of pilgrims returning from Iran and most of them were possibly carrying coronavirus which led to the outbreak in the country. Since then the cases have been increasing exponentially without proper intervention, the study read warning that if the infection cases continued with the same rate then Pakistan’s already struggling healthcare will soon overwhelm.
The report published in the medical sciences journal, MedRxiv, titled ‘Estimation of the Final Size of the COVID-19 Epidemic in Pakistan’ says that it is based on the data collected from the daily reports published on the National Institute of Health (NIH) Pakistan for a period of 33 days between Feb 26 and Mar 28.
It said that the number of coronavirus infection cases would peak on Day 91 (May 26), where 5,921,1209 people could be infected. While the cases will sharply slump on Day 120 (June 24) and the infection cases would stand at 369, 8192, while 198,761,399 cases will have recovered which is around 90% of the Pakistani population.
The study places the mortality rate of COVID-19 at 2.3 percent, severe cases at 14 percent and critical cases at 5 percent, which would imply that potentially 50,000 could die; 30,800,000 cases could become severe and 11,000,000 could become critical during the aftermath of epidemic in Pakistan. Therefore, there is an urgent need to implement effective measures to curb the rise in COVID-19 infections in Pakistan, otherwise it could lead to drastic consequences.