It is possible that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may exist for a long time like the flu, said a Chinese respiratory specialist.
A staff member disinfects a vehicle used for transferring medical waste at a medical waste disposal company in southwest China's Chongqing, Feb. 19, 2020.
In 2003, SARS disappeared as quickly as it emerged. Will COVID-19
be any different?
In an interview with China Central
Television Wednesday (February 19) night, Wang Chen, vice president of the
Chinese Academy of Engineering, said since SARS has strong transmissibility and
pathogenicity, it is hard for the virus to survive and continue to spread among
people. If the virus kills the host, it too perishes.
However, it is possible that COVID-19
many turn into a long-standing disease like influenza, said Wang.
"We must be prepared for
that," said Wang, emphasizing the need to study the biological
characteristics of the virus, and make corresponding arrangements in clinical
prevention and treatment, as well as other preventive measures in production
and our daily lives.
He stressed the important role of
scientific research in understanding COVID-19 and the prevention and control of
* As of Wednesday, a total of 32,395
medical workers have been sent to Hubei Province, the epicenter of the novel
coronavirus outbreak, to join in the battle against the virus.
The medics have been dispatched in 278
teams from across the country, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health
Commission, said at a press conference Thursday (February 20) in Beijing.
* China reported 394 new confirmed cases
of novel coronavirus infection and 114 deaths on Wednesday from 31
provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
Among the deaths, 108 were in Hubei
Province and one in Hebei, Shanghai, Fujian, Shandong, Yunnan and Shaanxi,
respectively. Another 1,277 new suspected cases were reported Wednesday.
* China's daily number of newly cured and
discharged novel coronavirus patients has surpassed that of new confirmed
infections for a second consecutive day.
A recent comment by Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra - "We are driving through the mist and we don’t know what the next phase looks like” - might cause confusion but it accurately reflects the reality of economies in the Eurozone. Recognising the imminent risk, the only monetary union in the world has yet to agree on measures to respond to the "economic shock” caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) to help launch a stimulus package in the trillions of dollars to keep businesses, workers and households afloat in face of the coronavirus. By the end of this year, the cost of this pandemic is likely to be measured in the trillions of dollars, Guterres told G20 leaders in a letter dated March 23.
With surging confirmed COVID-19 cases, European nations adopted a raft of further measures on Sunday (March 22) to peg back the contagion, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has put herself in quarantine after a doctor she met Friday tested positive.
Over 100,000 people across Europe had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Thursday (March 19) evening, prompting European governments to unleash more anti-virus measures.
Numbers for both new deaths and new cures from Italy's coronavirus outbreak released Wednesday (March 18) are the highest on record, as health officials scramble to find enough doctors to confront the outbreak's spread.
The World Bank has earmarked a US$100-million fast-track loan to help the Philippines fight COVID-19, the Philippine Department of Finance said. The Philippines now has 193 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 14 deaths. Four patients have recovered from the viral disease.