Coronavirus pandemic: World looking at early Wuhan-like situation if alertness is not raised, warns expert

Professor Zhong Nanshan, head of the National Health Commission, also added that if countries took the necessary steps, the pandemic could reach its end by June this year


                            Coronavirus pandemic: World looking at early Wuhan-like situation if alertness is not raised, warns expert
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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A top Chinese expert has warned that the new coronavirus, which is sweeping the world, could unleash damage similar to what Wuhan witnessed during the early stages of the outbreak, according to MailOnline.

However, he also added that if countries took the necessary steps, the pandemic could reach its end by June this year. The top scientist is Professor Zhong Nanshan, head of the National Health Commission's team investigating the coronavirus outbreak.

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Over 116 countries, barring China, have reported 47,400 infections. And more than 1,400 of them are now dead. China, on the other hand, has reported only 15 new infections and 11 deaths on Friday, March 13.

Now, Europe seems to be emerging as a hotspot. "China has got control of its outbreak. They had 20 cases in the last 24 hours. Where our real threat right now is in Europe. That’s where the cases are coming in for. So, in a way, if you want to just be blunt, Europe is the new China," CDC Director Robert R Redfield, said during a hearing.

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(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

"The percentage is very high and similar to the situation in Wuhan in the early stages (of the outbreak). This means doctors and the general public have not raised their alertness. That’s why they are going through this process." Dr Zhong said.

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According to Chinese authorities, placing Wuhan and other affected cities under lockdown and other strict measures helped China control the trajectory of the outbreak. They add that other countries should consider adopting them.

In the absence of an effective drug, Dr Zhong made a case for implementing draconian measures to stop in the spread.

As life bounced back to normalcy,  Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly informed the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by phone that economic and daily life is gradually returning to normal in China thanks to “arduous endeavors" at prevention and control.

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He was also quoted as saying that the Chinese people's “hard work has won precious time and made important contributions to other countries' epidemic prevention and control."

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China has also pledged support to other countries in their fight against the pandemic. Xi expressed interest in conducting joint research on drugs and vaccines and offer “as much assistance as it can" to countries where the novel coronavirus is spreading.

China is, however, seeing new cases coming in from other countries. As of March 11, the 85 people who landed in Mainland China had the infection. Consequently, Beijing has enforced a 14-day quarantine on all international travelers. 

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