Chinese Scientists say Coronavirus will come back every year as Nigeria’s cases hits 1337


    New virus is different from SARS with symptom-free infections

    Summer won’t necessarily lead to fewer cases: China expert

    Chinese scientists say the novel coronavirus will not be eradicated, adding to a growing consensus around the world that the pathogen will likely return in waves like the flu.

    Meanwhile Nigeria confirmed 64 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 1,337, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced.

    Of the new cases, 34 are in Lagos; 15-FCT, 11-Borno, 2-Taraba, and 2-Gombe, NCDC said in a tweet.

    According to NCDC as at 11:20pm 27th April, there were 1337 confirmed cases of COVID19 reported in Nigeria, 255 people had recovered and were discharged, while death toll stood at 40.

    “One case previously reported as a Lagos State case, is now reported as an FCT case,” it said.

    “The total number of confirmed cases in Lagos is now at 764 and 157 in FCT,” the centre noted.

    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, a group of Chinese viral and medical researchers told reporters in Beijing at a briefing Monday.

    With SARS, those infected became seriously ill. Once they were quarantined from others, the virus stopped spreading. In contrast, China is still finding dozens of asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus every day despite bringing its epidemic under control.

    “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 consensus is forming among top researchers and governments worldwide that the virus is unlikely to be eliminated, despite 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 India’s, while countries like Sweden have opted out of strict lockdowns.

    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. He cited as evidence cases now showing up in countries across the southern hemisphere as they enter their winter seasons.

    More than 3 million people have been sickened and over 210,000 killed in the global pandemic.

    While some, including U.S. President Donald Trump, have expressed hope that the virus’s spread will slow as the temperature in northern hemisphere countries rises in the summer, Chinese experts on Monday said that they found no evidence for this.

    “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,” said Wang Guiqiang, head of the infectious diseases department of Peking University First Hospital. “So globally, even during the summer, the chance of cases going down significantly is small.”

    — With assistance by Dong Lyu, Sharon Chen, John Liu, and Yinan Zhao

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