Coronavirus News Asia

Chinese expert says virus subdued by month’s end

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The novel coronavirus will be fully subdued in China by the end of this month, according to Zhong Nanshan, the country’s top pulmonologist.

Zhong, who has become the face of China’s academia in the fight against the viral outbreak and who has helped quell rumors and hearsay, assured his compatriots that by the end of this month China’s people can expect their lives to return to normal with the relaxation of domestic travel curbs.

Zhong is a leading authority on respiratory and other communicable diseases with the Guangzhou Medical University and the head of an expert panel advising top policymakers since the virus appeared in Wuhan at the end of 2019.

He said during a TV interview this week that he felt more optimistic than ever, but all nations must steel themselves for a war of attrition as Covid-19 could be here to stay, with a relapse likely coming next winter.

“Now that every country is enforcing aggressive measures like lockdowns and social distancing, they are starting to pay off. I believe the pandemic can be brought under control … My estimate is around late April. And the virus’ activity will certainly wane with the onset of summer,” said an upbeat Zhong.

His optimistic forecast notwithstanding, the contagion continues to tear through Europe and the United States with a resurgence of asymptomatic infections in some parts of China. Zhong could be talking about a sustained lull in the general epidemic situation in China, where those with acute conditions are recuperating and being discharged at a faster pace.

The country that was once ground zero of the now world-engulfing health crisis has 2,692 patients being treated and has already cured 76,791 as of Friday. It has a mortality rate lower than those in Italy, Spain, France and the United States, according to official data. The global tally of infections has hit the one million mark.

Zhong Nanshan is widely respected across China for his professionalism and courage to tell the truth, when local officials were bent on making light of the contagion situation. Photo: WeChat via Guangzhou Daily

But Zhong has still warned of Covid-19 retuning to strike down people when the temperature drops at the end of the year, and said people and governments must seize the warm months to fortify themselves.

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