‘Too early’ to talk about inflection for global pandemic

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/12 12:01:54

China ‘unlikely’ to see second wave of outbreaks triggered by imported cases: top medical expert


Zhong Nanshan, Photo: Xinhua

The risk of community transmission caused by imported cases certainly exists, but the possibility of new outbreaks is relatively small, and given the enhanced public awareness of self-protection, a second wave of outbreak in China is unlikely, Zhong Nanshan, the country's leading respiratory disease specialist, said in an interview on Sunday. 

After China took decisive measures, the epidemic in the country has now entered its second phase, Zhong said. However, he noted that some countries are still in the first phase of the outbreak and the situation continues to escalate, which also means there is a high possibility of human-to-human transmission with rapidly growing numbers of confirmed cases. 

It's too early to talk about an inflection point in the global pandemic, and the biggest problem is the US, given its rapid growth in case numbers of 10,000 to 20,000 per day this week, Zhong said, noting that there are unpredictable factors in projecting this point now, and it might take two more weeks to start making that projection. 

However, a second wave of outbreaks triggered by imported infections is unlikely in China, the expert noted. "China's prevention and control work has been deployed at communities. Residents now have a strong sense of self-protection. Once there are people with fevers, they can be rapidly reported, diagnosed and isolated," Zhong said, noting that the risks of community transmission definitely exist, but the chances of a second wave are very small. 

The Chinese mainland reported 99 new confirmed cases on Saturday, of which 97 were imported cases, the National Health Commission said on Sunday morning. Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and Shanghai both recorded a rise in imported infections from Russia. 

Zhong noted that China now faces two major tests, the first being how to gradually resume production while maintaining prevention and control work, and the other is fending off risks of imported infections. 

As foreign countries are still in the peak period of the outbreak, some of the Chinese cities with close  connections overseas may see a rise in infection cases, Zhong said. 

"It's not time to take off the masks, which is still an important measure for self-protection," he said.



Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus