Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Covid-19: elimination debate

The covid-19 elimination debate needs correct data

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 06 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3883
  1. Michael G Baker, professor of public health,
  2. Nick Wilson, professor of public health
  1. University of Otago, Wellington, 23 Mein Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
  1. michael.baker{at}

Many of the arguments made by Thornley and colleagues against taking an elimination approach to covid-19 are misleading and incorrect1—in particular, their assertion that the infection fatality risk (IFR) for covid-19 is “similar to that for seasonal flu.”

Research conducted in New Zealand and internationally suggests that the IFR for covid-19 is typically …

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