Coronavirus outbreak could end by April, says Chinese Doctor who helped battle SARS epidemic

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 12, 2020

Zhong Nanshan, Chinese medical advisor and epidemiologist, on Tuesday said that the coronavirus outbreak could peak within the next two to three weeks and could end by April, according to a Reuters report.

Zhong based his prediction on the slow decline in the number of cases in mainland China, using mathematical modelling, recent cases and government action, according to a report published by the Japan Times.

According to the medical advisor, who helped detect faults in China’s emergency response system during the 2003 SARS outbreak, the current outbreak should peak in mid-to-late February, and end by April, according to the report.

However, some experts disagree with Zhong’s predictions, stating that it is too early to predict the peak of the outbreak. The situation needs to be monitored further, according to these experts, in order to forecast the end of the outbreak, the Reuters report said.

On Wednesday, China reported the lowest number of confirmed cases since January.

Zhong also expressed his distress over the death of Li Wenliang, one of the eight doctors who first warned China about the virus.

Li Wenliang had died due to a novel coronavirus infection late on February 6. He had warned fellow medics in a private WeChat message about a SARS-like virus spreading in Wuhan. The doctor got infected after trying to treat a glaucoma patient who was infected with the virus and unaware of it. according to an Aljazeera report.

The virus, which has now been officially named ‘COVID-19’ by the WHO, has taken a toll on every aspect of people’s lives, from public health to the economy,

The death toll in China has now crossed the 1,100 mark. The number of confirmed cases reached 44,653 on Wednesday, according to media reports.

So far three cases have been confirmed in India.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently lowered its global growth forecast for 2020 to 2.2 per cent, from 2.3 per cent, citing new risks caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, according to media reports.

Published on February 12, 2020

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