Coronavirus: 3 Questions, 3 Answers

From an outbreak in a remote part of China to becoming a pandemic, coronavirus has shown an alarming ability to spread through the planet. As of March 13, more than 130,000 cases have been detected, with nearly 5,000 deaths globally.

Anne Lepetit, Chief Medical Officer of Allianz Partners, shares some information on the virus and how individuals can slow its spread...

The World Health Organization has designated COVID-19 a pandemic. Can you tell us more about it?

Covid-19 is a respiratory infection. In 80 percent of the cases, the symptoms are very similar to the seasonal flu - fever, cough, headache, sore throat. In mild cases, a patient can fully recover in 2-3 weeks.

But in 20 percent of the cases, the pathology can be severe or critical. Even in those cases, young and healthy people will usually recover in 3-6 weeks.

Fortunately, children seem to be resilient to this virus and so far, no death has been reported of anyone under the age of 10 years. The main concern is the elderly and people with compromised immunity, who can experience a more severe form with up to 16 percent mortality rate.

All the measures taken by regional authorities are meant to reduce the spread of the coronavirus – firstly, to give enough time to the local healthcare systems to set up their crisis action plans and secondly, to space out the severe cases that may need intensive care.

anne lepetit allianz partners
Anne Lepetit

How do you expect the Covid-19 situation to develop globally? What should people do to slow the contagion?

The WHO declared a pandemic because there is no doubt now that the Covid-19 will spread across the world, with rapid evolution in countries with a lot of travelers. That is why, countries are implementing containment or restriction measures that must be respected as much as possible.

In addition, people can follow the basic preventive measures such as:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after any contact with areas that could be infected (in public transport, restaurants, and so on)
  • Maintain a distance of at least one meter from other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth frequently.
  • Practise respiratory hygiene – cover your mouth and nose with tissues while sneezing, for example.

What are the first lessons learnt from this situation?

At a very early stage of the outbreak, the Chinese scientific community shared data and findings with the rest of the world. They shared common knowledge and practices about the pathology and treatments. This was aimed at a joint fight against the outbreak through a strong international scientific cooperation.

Although the situation is challenging, the pandemic will definitely contribute to increased awareness of basic hygiene. Plus, it is testing large-scale national contingency plans, which could trigger some serious thought and planning for such events in the future.

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 126 million* private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 706 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage nearly 1.7 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to the systematic integration of environmental, social and governance criteria in our operations, business processes and investment decisions, we continue to be recognized as among the sustainable insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (September 23, 2022). In 2021, over 155,000 employees achieved total revenues of 148.5 billion euros and an operating profit of 13.4 billion euros for the group.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

*Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
** As of September 30, 2022

Press contacts

Flavia Genillard
Allianz SE
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements:

Further information

One year after the German floods: "The scale of the disaster is extreme"

A year after the devastating flood, the Ahr valley region in Germany still resembles a construction site and claims settlements in some cases are still being resolved. Allianz’s Versicherungs AG Board Member Jochen Haug explains why this is the case and why he sees "light at the end of the tunnel."

Food is hope: Allianz to donate to World Central Kitchen

Allianz is donating 500,000 euros to World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate and community crises. This donation is part of Allianz's ongoing efforts to support millions of Ukrainians fleeing their country in search of safety and refuge.

Allianz launches "MoveNow" program to move people of the next generation

Allianz is launching the MoveNow program to support and strengthen young people by facilitating access and offering opportunities to become and stay active. The mission is to prepare the next generation for the future by moving their body, mind and soul.