By K J M Varma :
“We will still wait for another month to see and make the final judgement,” Cao Wei, Deputy Director and Associate Chief Physician of the Department of infectious diseases of Peking Union Medical College Hospital
THE deadly coronavirus which brought China to a grinding halt for about three months has “almost ceased to end” but a final judgement would be made after a month, a top Chinese medical expert heading the health teams at the virus epicentre Wuhan said on Monday. Cao Wei, Deputy Director and Associate Chief Physician of the Department of infectious diseases of Peking Union Medical College Hospital, also said that no data has been found to indicate the relationship between the novel coronavirus and the weather.
The National Health Commission (NHC) said on Monday that the coronavirus death toll in China rose to 3,213 with 14 new fatalities, while the imported cases climbed to 123 after 12 new infections were reported, prompting Beijing to make 14-day quarantine in special facilities compulsory for foreigners arriving in the country. “Currently after three months of fight, the (virus) outbreak in China has almost ceased to end,” said Cao.
“We will still wait for another month to see and make the final judgement,” Cao, who was in Wuhan directing mammoth medical operations to fight the disease, told an online media briefing. She along with Dr Du Bin, Director of medical ICU, Peking Union Medical College, Yan Xiawei, Vice Chief of Internal Medicine, Peking Union Medical college hospital, and Wu Dong, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology of the same hospital addressed the foreign and local media in an online press briefing from Wuhan. All the four were part of several thousand medical personnel sent by China to Hubei province and Wuhan since the virus outbreak. “We all know WHO declared it as a pandemic a few days ago. It means the situation globally will not solely depend on China or any other single county,” Cao said, adding that China would take a call on it in about a month.
Asked whether China apprehends a second wave of the virus, she said the relapse of the COVID-19 epidemic in China “would not be a great concern under the current prevention and control measures.” She said the number of newly reported cases of coronavirus in the country, including imported ones, might stay at a relatively low level, but it would last for a certain period of time as the imported cases have become an important source of COVID-19. Cao also said there is no evidence to show that the virus would abate with the onset of summer and the resultant rise in temperatures, ruling out the prevailing view that summer heat would subdue the virus. There is no data about Covid-19 relevance to weather pattern.