New Delhi: A research by the Australian National University has reported in case of a “low end pandemic” from coronavirus, India and China could lose millions of people.
In that low-end pandemic, the study estimates that more than 15 million people would die within the first year of the outbreak, which started in China last December. In the worst case, the global death toll could reach a staggering 68 million.
The estimates suggest that India and China would each lose millions of people, with more than 230,000 people killed in the United States. Estimates for India at 3.6 million in lowest of pandemic scenarios.
Under a high severity scenario, the loss to India’s GDP would be $ 567 billion while China’s loss to GDP would be $1.6 trillion.
According to the research being widely quoted by media outlets, even a low-end pandemic modelled on the Hong Kong Flu is expected to reduce global GDP by around $2.4 trillion and a more serious outbreak similar to the Spanish influenza reduces global GDP by over $9 trillion in 2020.
The research shows that for even the lowest of the pandemic scenarios, there are estimated to be around 15 million deaths. In the United States, the estimate is 236,000 deaths.
These estimated deaths from Covid-19 can be compared to a regular influenza season in the United States, where around 55,000 people die each year.
In a high-severity scenario, the estimated loss to GDP in Australia in 2020 is $103 billion, with many deaths.
Under the same scenario, the global economic outlook is dire.
China’s loss to GDP in 2020 is estimated at $1.6 trillion, in the United States, the figure is $1.7 trillion, Japan’s estimated loss to GDP is $549 billion and India loss to GDP in 2020 is estimated at $567 billion.
The research paper models seven scenarios. Four of the seven scenarios in the paper examine the impact of Covid-19 spreading to other countries outside of China, ranging from low to high severity. A seventh scenario examines a global impact where a mild pandemic occurs each year indefinitely.
The research is by Professor Warwick McKibbin and PhD candidate Roshen Fernando, both of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and the ANU Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. It builds on Professor McKibbin’s modelling of the economic impact of 2002-2003 SARS and 2006 flu pandemics.
“Our scenarios show that even a contained outbreak could significantly impact the global economy in the short run,” Professor McKibbin said.
“In the case where Covid-19 develops into a global pandemic, our results suggest that the cost can escalate quickly.
“Even in the best-case scenario of a low-severity impact, the economic fallout is going to be enormous and countries need to work together to limit the potential damage as much as possible.
“This is particularly the case when it comes to the potential loss of life.”