Jeffrey Sachs is a professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author; view more opinion articles on CNN. (CNN)Covid-19 is a pandemic of remarkable ferocity. The global population lacks immunity because this is the first time in known history that we are confronting this coronavirus. The virus is also highly transmissible.To add to the problem, many people who have been infected experience mild, if any symptoms, and transmit the disease without awareness either of the infected individual or those who they are infecting. The consequences of infection are often severe: roughly 14% of cases require oxygen therapy and 5% require admission to an intensive care unit. A study by researchers at Imperial College London, which applied Chinese data to the UK, estimates the overall case fatality rate is around 0.9%.There are several phases to a pandemic. When there are still just a few cases, it is still possible to identify and isolate the infected individuals and trace the people they have come into contact with so they too can be either tested, monitored, and, if necessary, isolated. This is the so-called testing-and-tracing phase. A few


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