Public health experts have been trying to gauge how bad the coronavirus outbreak will get, and whether it will become a full-blown pandemic, by calculating the pathogen's reproduction rate.
And according to a recent report by U.S.-based investment bank JP Morgan Chase, South Korea's coronavirus epidemic has not yet reached its peak.
Taking the speed of secondary infections in China into account , the bank predicted that the epidemic could reach its climax in Korea around March 20th and said there could be as many as ten thousand confirmed cases.
The bank supposed three percent of the 2.4 million people living in Daegu had been exposed to the virus.
Daegu is where more than 80 percent of the total confirmed cases have occurred in Korea.
However, the South Korean health authorities said it's too early to make such assumptions.
Vice health minister Kim Gang-lip said at a briefing on Wednesday that more thorough statistical analysis needs to be done on the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, some say the virus will ultimately become uncontainable.
In an article by the Atlantic,Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch said the coronavirus will be a global pandemic, with 40 to 70 percent of the world's population likely to be infected this year.
But he clarified that by saying many of those people won't have severe illnesses or even show symptoms at all, which is already reportedly the case for many people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
In that way, it could have similarities with influenza, which is often life-threatening to elderly people or those with chronic health conditions, but causes no symptoms at all in around 14 percent of cases.
This is leading to an emerging consensus that the outbreak will eventually morph into a new seasonal disease, which The Atlantic says could one day turn the "cold and flu season" into the "cold and flu and COVID-19 season."
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.