Virus inflection point could emerge in one month: expert Published: 2020/1/31 0:58:35

Subway passengers wear masks in Shanghai. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

With measures taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, an inflection point is likely to appear within the next one or two incubation periods, according to one expert on Thursday.

Incubation periods last 12 to 14 days, so it could take a month until we see an inflection point, said Wen Yumei, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering at a press conference in Shanghai on Thursday.

As Wen explained, during the virus infection stage, the human body produces antibodies, which reduces the level and capability of the virus. It also becomes less pathogenic and contagious.

If a vaccine can be made quickly and with improved intervention measures, like early detection and quarantine, inflection points would appear even earlier, Wen said.

Wen noted it is essential to prevent the virus from mutating.

"Chances of such mutating is not much, but it may still cause some serious problems."

Shanghai government officials also delivered their latest progress on efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

City officials said they ordered local businesses like pawnshops and leasing companies to remain closed through February 9, said Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission. 

Larger financial-based businesses like banks will resume work earlier but are required to improve staff management and protection against the virus, Wu said. 

The initiatives were implemented to strengthen price management on products like medicine and face masks during the virus outbreak. 

Xu Jin, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Market Supervision and Administration, said Shanghai has made 9,314 inspections and investigated 10 incidents involving price hike violations. 

On Thursday, another 16 novel coronavirus cases were reported in Shanghai. By noon Thursday, 112 cases had been confirmed in the city, with five patients in recovery, four in critical condition, and one fatality.

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