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Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the 21st century’s worst pandemic threatening billions of people with disease and death directly and indirectly. Besides the tragic loss of human lives and welfare, the resulting economic losses for individuals, families and small and medium sized businesses might destroy livelihoods, savings and welfare. The economic losses also threaten lives and welfare of animals and the global non-profit sector.
Globally estimated 1.5 – 4.6 billion patients (20-60%) might get infected, potentially 308-925 million people (20%) might be hospitalized and 77-230 million (5%) require to be in an ICU. Alone due to Covid-19, 15-280 million patients might die, without taking into account secondary deaths caused by the burden on the health care system.
Potentially 5-15 million (20-60%) Australians infected; 1-3 million (20%) people might be hospitalized, 250-740.000 might require ICU (1). Lives of 300,000 to 885,000 people might be lost directly.
The total numbers of sick and dead will depend on a number of factors, government response and health care being a substantial one.
What you can do right now?
Right now, loss of life needs to be avoided. The faster coronavirus is contained or successfully mitigated, the less people will die and suffer. Health care organizations and governments are doing their best depending on their expertise, capabilities and willingness.
If the the contagion spreads faster than the healthcare system can cope with it, more lives will be lost due to lack of manpower and medical supplies. Tragically, due to the strain coronavirus puts on the health care system, also non-covid-19 patients might die due to the shortage of medical supplies.
Among the actions local communities can take, building low cost mechanical ventilators and other 3D printed PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) might be a low hanging fruit to flatten the curve and allow patients fight the virus until they can survive on their own.
Discuss with your local healthcare providers’ point of contact their real needs. Collaborate with local 3D printer companies, maker spaces and universities etc to prepare medical supplies as requested.
The coronavirus situation is rapidly developing. Please search for relevant and current groups working on solutions. Here are some resources to get started.
AU: COVID SOS: Addressing frontline medical equipment shortages through academic and industry collaboration on methods of design and manufacture. Health professionals post what they need. Engineers+manufacturers respond.
US: Getting Protective Equipment (PPE) to Our Healthcare Heroes. #getusppe
Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies
Open-Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies (Australia)
General| Coronavirus Tech Handbook