Expert Says Global Pandemic Can Be Controlled "by June" If We

Renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan said on Thursday that if most countries were to act like China by attaching national-level importance to response efforts, the global COVID-19 pandemic could be brought under control "by June.

At a press conference in Guangzhou, Zhong added: "Some countries have reminded people to be wary of the virus and not to treat it like any other flu. Our estimate of global control by June is based on the positive measures taken by those countries, but if the world fails to attach great importance to addressing the threat and infectiousness of the virus through interventions, this timeframe may be extended.

The World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a "pandemic" this past Wednesday as the virus continues to spread worldwide, urging the international community to take urgent and aggressive actions to contain the virus.

Zhong stressed the urgency of demanding more measures to be taken by all virus-hit countries, calling on all of them to respond to WHOs initiative with the utmost emergency.

Meanwhile, the fatality rate in Wuhan and Hubei is above 4%, but the rate in other provinces outside Hubei remains very low, as very effective prevention and control measures have been taken since the beginning and peak of the outbreak.

Zhongs team has reportedly exchanged ideas on the epidemic prevention and control with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Japan, Singapore, and a number of European countries. Chinese experts have also been sent to Italy to facilitate further communication and share resources.

It is essential to enhance the exchanges between China and overseas regions since China's experience and lessons over the past two months can help the world reduce both the prevalence and mortality rates.

This comes at a crucial time when China officially announced that the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak had already been reached nationwide, hours after WHO declared it as a global pandemic. 

New cases keep declining and the overall epidemic situation remains at a low level across the country. The number of new confirmed cases in Wuhan has dropped to single digits, with only eight cases reported on Wednesday. No new cases have been reported in other cities of Hubei in the last week, according to the National Health Commission.

In contrast, there are now more than 118,000 confirmed cases in 114 countries and regions worldwide.

We can only hope other countries will follow suit and implement all necessary measures to fight the spread and overcome this disease. 

Source: xinhua

Editor: Crystal H

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