Speaking at a conference on April 27, 2018, American business magnate and software tycoon Bill Gates said the world was at risk from super-pathogens spreading quickly across our planet, adding that the world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way it prepares for war.
"This preparation includes staging simulations, war games and preparedness exercises so that we can better understand how diseases will spread and how to deal with responses such as quarantine and communications to minimize panic," Gates said.
According to CNBC, during the conference, the billionaire philanthropist unveiled an exhaustive study by the Institute for Disease Modelling which laid bare just how quickly a new disease could spread.
Now, in 2020, with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the prediction by Gates is falling nothing short of true.
The time lapse video Gates unveiled at the conference explained how a potential outbreak in China could rapidly spread across the planet which will eventually kill 33 million people, reports the UK-based tabloid news agency The Sun.
After a year of Gates' prediction, the world is faced with the deadly coronavirus that emerged from the depths of Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan - awaiting destruction to mankind. And since its outbreak early this month, the death toll has exceeded 100 in mainland China and infected over 4,500 worldwide.
"This should concern everyone," said Gates, "because history has taught us there will be another deadly global pandemic."
"We can't predict when, but given the continual emergence of new pathogens, the increasing risk of a bioterror attack, and the ever-increasing connectedness of our world, there is a significant probability that a large and lethal modern-day pandemic will occur in our lifetime," Gates said.
Four major Chinese cities are in lockdown, while 20 million people quarantined with evidence of human-to-human transmission. And preliminary research suggested the coronavirus was passed on to humans from snakes at Wuhan's seafood market.
Experts have warned it may prove as deadly as the Spanish flu, which claimed 50 million lives.