Virus cases may peak in 10 days

BEIJING, 31 January 2020: A report posted by China’s National Health Commissions warns the novel coronavirus epidemic could reach its peak in a week or 10 days.

As of 30 June, the death toll reached 72 while confirmed cases exceeded 7,000.

It has spread from Wuhan and Hubei province in China to at least 17 countries: Australia; Cambodia; Canada; Finland; France; Germany; Japan; Malaysia; Nepal; Singapore; South Korea; Sri Lanka; Taiwan; Thailand;  the United Arab Emirates; the US, and Vietnam.

It’s hard to predict when the epidemic will reach its peak, but it may come in a week or 10 days, said Zhong Nanshan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a prominent expert in respiratory diseases.

After that, the number of people infected by the novel coronavirus will not increase massively, he told Xinhua News Agency earlier this week.

There have been reports that early symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease don’t include common symptoms of respiratory diseases, such as fever and cough, but Zhong said having a fever was still among the most common symptoms of novel coronavirus disease.

“Ten to 14 days is a perfect window for observation… So people’s migration after the Spring Festival holiday won’t cause a massive spread of the disease, but control measures must continue, he added.

Zhong also said so far there is no targeted drug for the novel coronavirus disease, but scientist and medical experts have thought of some ways to fight it. “With the help of life-supporting technologies, the fatality rate will definitely drop,” he said.

WHO findings suggest the fatality rate is 2% compared with 10% during the SARS crisis in 2002 to 2003. However, cases in China at more than 7,000 have already surpassed the count during SARS.

Zhong stressed that the most effective way to control the epidemic was through early identification and quarantine of those infected.

“I urged people to stay put. I still believe people shouldn’t travel, especially those who are from Wuhan. It’s not only a personal choice but also something that matters to society.”