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Has China faced only a herald wave of SARS-CoV-2?

The attack rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) calculated by mathematical models, from estimates of the basic reproduction number, R0, of 2–3, suggests that 50–60% of the population should eventually be infected because the population seems to be entirely naive to the new virus.1 The observed attack rate on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship remained slightly below 20% (705 of 3711 passengers and crew members became infected).1 It is of upmost importance to know whether the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in China is subsiding, as local authorities and the entire international community might wish. With 80 026 COVID-19 cases officially reported from China as of March 2, 2020,2 the proportion of the population affected remains far from 50%, or even 20%, of China's 1·4 billion people. Has China just experienced a herald wave, to use terminology borrowed from those who study tsunamis, and is the big wave still to come?