Coronavirus pandemic may never be defeated as scientists warn of repeated outbreaks
A team of viral and medical scientists argued that asymptomatic carriers made it almost impossible to track the spread of the killer virus, meaning it would not disappear like SARS eventually did. Asymptomatic carriers are people who are infected with coronavirus, but who never develop its symptoms, typically a dry cough and a high fever. It comes as Chinese health officials are still confirming dozens of asymptomatic carriers every day through their testing programmes.
Jin Qi, director of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “This is very likely to be an epidemic that co-exists with humans for a long time, becomes seasonal and is sustained within human bodies.”
The scientists poured cold water on the idea that warmer weather might help to slow the spread of the virus in the northern hemisphere.
Although coronavirus is heat sensitive, it has be subjected to a temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, before it is destroyed, according to Wang Guiqiang, head of the infectious diseases department of Peking University First Hospital.
He added: “So globally, even during the summer, the chance of cases going down significantly is small.”
China has reported a total of 82,836 COVID-19 infections and says of that number 4,633 people have lost their lives.
Beijing has also recently moved to ease its lockdown restrictions, allowing people once again to travel and non-essential businesses to open.
However, many still doubt that these figures actually reflect the true picture of the epidemic in the country.
People in Wuhan, which was the epicentre of the outbreak, believe that 42,000 people died during the health crisis, rather than the 3,182 claimed by officials.
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In recent week, Donald Trump has repeatedly accused Beijing of deliberately covering up the outbreak and allowing it to spread to other parts of the world.
On Monday, the US President renewed his attacks on China during his White House press conference.
He implied that Chinese authorities didn’t do enough to stop the spread of the virus, when they had the opportunity to do so.
He said that the US would be conducting “serious investigations” into what happened and suggested that the US would demand reparations from China for the damage it had caused through its negligence.
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The President told journalists: “We’re doing very serious investigations … We are not happy with China.
“We believe it could have been stopped at the source.
“It could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world.”
Last week, in an editorial article the editor-in-chief of the popular German tabloid Bild Julian Reichelt demanded reparations from Beijing to the tune of USD165 billion for having deliberately kept the world in the dark about the coronavirus outbreak.
When asked by a journalist about the article, Donald Trump implied that his administration was considering the option.
He said: “We can do something much easier than that.
“Germany is looking at things, we are looking at things. We are talking about a lot more money than Germany’s talking about
“We haven’t determined the final amount yet.”
He added: “It’s very substantial. This is worldwide damage. This is damage to the US, but this is damage to the world.”
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