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How many people will die as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) before 2021?

Cross-posted on Metaculus.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19), as denoted by the World Health Organization, also known as Wuhan coronavirus or Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA coronavirus first reported in 2019 and genomically sequenced after nucleic acid testing on a positive patient sample in a patient with pneumonia during the 2019-2020 Wuhan pneumonia outbreak. The virus is at least 70% similar in genetic sequence to SARS-CoV, the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome.

A situation summary from the US Centers for Disease Control is available here.

Unfortunately, more than 1,000 cases of the infection were reported as of 24 January 2020, with more than 40 reported dead as a result.

This question asks: How many deaths will be reported globally as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) before 1 January 2021?

Edited to add (2020-04-29): since the more than 25,000 deaths have occurred, this question will resolve on the basis of a scientific estimate of the total global death toll. This estimate should be published before the end of 2021. In case of multiple credible estimates, resolution should be the median of the published estimates.

Edited to add (2020-05-03) This question resolves as the median of median estimates of the top three papers published before the end of 2021 by citation count, on Google scholar on December 30th, 2021.*


Outdated resolution criteria (for reference only)

The question should resolve on the basis of a credible scientific estimate, published in (or before) the year 2021, of the actual number of infections. If there are estimates judged credible by a Metaculus admin, resolution should be the median of the published estimates.

Resolution should be the total global number of human deaths reported before January 1 2021 by (in decreasing order of priority):

  • The World Health Organisation.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The United Nations.
  • Credible press reports. If there are several press reports judged credible by a Metaculus admin, resolution should be the median of the published estimates.

In case the credible reports indicate that >25,000 deaths occur, with some not identified by the aforementioned sources, the question may resolve on the basis of a scientific estimate of the total global death toll. This estimate should be published before the end of 2021. In case of multiple credible estimates, resolution should be the median of the published estimates.

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