By Rohit Sindhu, Updated : Apr 28, 2020 15:06 IST
Coronavirus is likely to become a seasonal infection like the flu, top Chinese scientists warn the world

On talking to the media, Chinese scientists working on the the covid-19 stated the novel coronavirus will not be eradicated, adding to a growing consent around the world that the pathogen will likely return in waves like the flu.

Coronavirus to become a Seasonal Infection

On a briefing with a few reports on Monday, a group of Chinese researchers told the reporters that it’s unlikely the new virus will disappear the way its close cousin SARS did 17 years ago, as it infects some people without causing obvious symptoms like fever. This group of so-called asymptomatic carriers makes it hard to fully contain transmission as they can spread the virus undetected.

‘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,’ said Jin Qi, director of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at China’s top medial research institute, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

A general agreement is forming among top researchers and governments worldwide that the virus is unlikely to be eliminated, despite the costly lockdowns that have brought much of the global economy to a halt. Some public health experts are calling for the virus to be allowed to spread in a controlled way through younger populations like that of India’s, while countries like Sweden have opted out of strict lockdowns.

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Anthony Fauci, the director of U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last month that Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, could become a seasonal ailment. ‘We think this coronavirus will likely become more prominent during winter in the Southern Hemisphere… and cycle back to the Northern Hemisphere in the next winter season. We’ll be dealing then with influenza, other respiratory viruses, and the coronavirus’, Fauci said.

‘The virus is heat sensitive, but that’s when it’s exposed to 56 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes and the weather is never going to get that hot. So globally, even during the summer, the chance of cases going down significantly is small’, told Wang Guiqiang, head of the infectious diseases department of Peking University First Hospital when asked regarding the slowing down of virus in the summer.

The World Health Organisation has confirmed 23,14,621 cases of the global pandemic across the globe and 1,57,847 deaths till date.

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