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Chinese expert: Coronavirus could be over by June if countries act accordingly

Zhong Nanshan, the government’s senior medical adviser.

The coronavirus pandemic could be over by June 2020 if countries mobilize to fight it, says Zhong Nanshan, China’s senior medical adviser.

Nanshan told reporters that as long as countries take the outbreak seriously and are prepared to take firm measures, it could be over worldwide in a matter of months.

“My advice is calling for all countries to follow WHO instructions and intervene on a national scale,” he said. “If all countries could get mobilized, it could be over by June.”

President Xi Jinping similarly expressed confidence when he spoke to the United Nation. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“After hard work, China has shown a trend of continuous improvement in epidemic prevention and control,” the report cited Xi as saying.

“I am confident that the Chinese people will be able to overcome this epidemic and achieve their intended economic and social development goals.”

The 83-year-old Zhong and an epidemiologist who has been renowned for helping combat the SARS outbreak in 2003, said viruses in the same family typically became less active in warm months.

“My estimate of June is based on scenarios that all countries take positive measures.”

The total number of cases recorded in mainland China was 80,793. As of Tuesday, 62,793 people had recovered and been discharged from hospital, or nearly 80% of the infections.

Businesses rebound

Around two-thirds of global cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in China’s central Hubei province, where the virus first emerged in December.

With the marked slowdown of the spread of the virus in China, more businesses have reopened, with authorities cautiously easing strict containment measures.

Hubei province announced a further loosening of travel restrictions and will also allow some industries to resume production.

Hubei’s economy, driven by manufacturing and trade, including a sizable auto sector in the provincial capital, Wuhan, had been virtually shut down since Jan. 23.

Coronavirus in Africa

By Friday, March 13, the number of African countries which have reported the outbreak stood at 13, with Kenya and Ethiopia becoming latest to confirm the coronavirus case.

There are now more than 102 cases recorded in 13 countries in Africa, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.

Egypt remains the nation with the most reported cases with 59, more than half of all confirmed cases on the continent.

Even as the virus spreads across the globe, Africa countries are tightening grip on preventive measures to keep the disease out and many are showing a strong level of preparedness to counter its spread.

In South Africa, 13 cases of the virus have been confirmed so far and citizens can now walk into private laboratories and pay for private coronavirus tests costing around Ksh.7,688, according to a local daily.

In Lagos, Nigeria, temperature screenings and use of hand sanitizers before entering public spaces such as banks, offices and restaurants are becoming mandatory to limit the spread of the disease.

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Digital Desk, Metropol TV

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