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In Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology ; h5-index 53.0

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented global challenges. A zero-COVID strategy is needed to end the crisis, but there is a lack of biological evidence. In the present study, we collected available data on SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 to perform a comprehensive comparative analysis and visualization. The study results revealed that the fatality rate of COVID-19 is low, whereas its death toll is high compared to SARS and MERS. Moreover, COVID-19 had a higher asymptomatic rate. In particular, COVID-19 exhibited unique asymptomatic transmissibility. Further, we developed a foolproof operating software in Python language to simulate COVID-19 spread in Wuhan, showing that the cumulative cases of existing asymptomatic spread would be over 100 times higher than that of only symptomatic spread. This confirmed the essential role of asymptomatic transmissibility in the uncontrolled global spread of COVID-19, which enables the necessity of implementing the zero-COVID policy. In conclusion, we revealed the triggering role of the asymptomatic transmissibility of COVID-19 in this unprecedented global crisis, which offers support to the zero-COVID strategy against the recurring COVID-19 spread.

Zhang Chaobao, Wang Hongzhi, Wen Zilu, Gu Mingjun, Liu Lianyong, Li Xiangqi

2022

COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, asymptomatic spread, containment measure, software, artificial intelligence, zero-COVID strategy