Many countries, including India, don't know when Covid-19 peak will come: Top Chinese...

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Several countries, including India, have not yet seen the peak number of the coronavirus disease or Covid-19 cases, a leading Chinese infectious disease expert has said and warned that the second wave or a rebound of the outbreak could be stronger than the first.

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Zhang Wenhong, head of Shanghai’s Huashan hospital’s infectious disease department, said in an interview to state media that India, Brazil and Russia, for example, haven’t seen the peak of the pandemic curve yet and don’t know when the cases will come down.

India until now has reported more than 2.56 lakh cases and nearly 7,000 deaths.

The increase in the number of cases is being aided by the easing of lockdown in many countries, Zhang was quoted as saying in thepaper.cn.

Giving the example of the United State, where the epidemic is most severe, he said after production was resumed in the US the outbreak in many states has shown signs of a rebound or a surge in the number of cases.

The outbreak is also rebounding in West Asia including in Iran, Zhang added.

For China, it will be crucial to control the number of imported cases – or infected persons returning to China from abroad – to stop the rebound.

According to real-time statistics from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 7 million confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in the world and the death toll stands at 402,709.

Zhang had warned in April that the pandemic is unlikely to die out in summer and a second wave of the infection was expected.

He said then while speaking at an online discussion that China’s experience with disease control means any resurgence in infections later this year will be manageable.

It will not require a repeat of the dramatic measures taken to curb the virus’s initial spread as needed earlier in the year, he said.

“China won’t implement any shutdowns, and imported cases will certainly still make up the bulk of the outbreak,” the Caixin magazine quoted Zhang as saying.

“For a long time, epidemic prevention and control will go through periods of relaxation and tightening. It will be possible to live and work normally, but it probably won’t be possible to completely eradicate the outbreaks,” he said.

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