Panicdemic in Light of Pandemic

Ng Chong Guan, Low Sue-Yin, Lee Xiao Shiang

Abstract


The past few months have seen increasingly worrying numbers of people testing positive for the novel COVID-19 virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has since declared the situation a pandemic; a rarity, as the term often causes unreasonable panic and fear. For comparison, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a coronavirus with a higher death rate than COVID-19, was not declared a pandemic. While there is no specific threshold for meeting the criteria of a pandemic, epidemics become pandemics when they occur over large geographic areas with sustained transmission, affecting exceptionally high proportions of the population exponentially. As of March 26th 2020 - the writing of this editorial, the global number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 is more than 500,000, with secondary disease hotspots in places such as South Korea, Italy, and Iran. In Malaysia, March 26th saw a leap to 235 new confirmed cases. The total confirmed cases in Malaysia is currently at 2,031, with roughly 200 new cases a day since then [1].

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