The novel coronavirus pandemic has hit the world hard, with the official tally of victims having just passed the 250,000 mark globally. More than 200,000 of these official fatalities occurred in just 12 countries, pictured above. And yet, even in those countries, the diffusion ("prevalence") of the COVID-19 disease remains quite low, and certainly far away from the share needed for herd immunity (between 70% and 80%). In fact, ISPI estimates that the plausible diffusion in the 12 countries most affected by the virus never manages to go above 7%, and in almost all instances still remains below the 5% threshold. Three big EU countries (Italy, UK, France, and Spain) see their plausible virus prevalence at between 3% and 4%, while Germany's plausible prevalence is even lower, at below 1%.
This finding spells trouble for the post-lockdown phase. It means that the virus has been able to wreak havoc even infecting just a small share of the total population, and that its potential for deadliness is still almost totally intact compared to last February-March. The main role for limiting the incidence and deadliness of COVID-19 is not going to be played by herd immunity, but by extensive testing, tracing, and treatment of the disease.