JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a report that the new coronavirus (COVID-19) could infect up to 10,000 people in Korea, but the government questioned the credibility of the report.
The report was based on assumptions that 3 percent of 2.4 million people in Daegu are exposed to the virus at a secondary infection rate based on China’s experience with the virus. The report predicted that the COVID-19 infections would peak on March 20.
“The government reviewed and discussed JPMorgan’s report, but it is too early to trust the prediction. We need to compare and analyze various figures, including China’s statistics on the virus’s transmission power,” said Vice Health and Welfare Minister Kim Kang-lip at a briefing on Wednesday. “The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting additional review and analysis.”
|Vice Health and Welfare Minister Kim Kang-lip (second from right) speaks during a briefing on Wednesday.|
Asked if the Korean government was developing an epidemiological model just like JPMorgan did, Kim said the government had to be more cautious than a private company.
“A private company like JPMorgan has more room to analyze liberally. But the government has to consider many other ‘side effects’ of making an official announcement, even if it is analyzing data (internally),” Kim said.
The government has also to consider a possibility of discrepancies between the government’s prediction and the real situation, thus, the government has no room to make a “liberal” prediction, he added.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>