Chinese renowned respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan receives an interview with Xinhua in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 28, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
China's top COVID-19 expert Zhong Nanshan predicted on Thursday that the global pandemic could recede in June, but it depends on each country's emphasis on virus prevention.
Normally, the coronavirus is less active in summer, when temperatures are higher, said Zhong at a conference.
He predicted the pandemic could recede by the end of June if countries put more efforts into preventing the spread of the virus.
Many countries should attach great emphasis to virus prevention, like China, and keep the public on high alert instead of treating it just like flu, said Zhong, warning that the pandemic will be prolonged if countries keep underestimating its power.
The death rate of COVID-19 overseas is about 3.2 percent, and countries are facing a situation similar to that of Wuhan at the early stages of the outbreak, which signals that the virus is failing to gain enough attention outside China, he said.
China needs to play a bigger role in communicating with the global community, including providing more timely clinical treatment experience to countries hit by the disease, according to Zhong.
He said China is shifting attention to preventing imported infections. Many of the imported infections are asymptomatic, with only symptoms of a normal cold, and this suggests other countries are not paying enough attention to the pandemic and that China needs to strengthen its monitoring of imported cases, he said.
"It is impossible to work out an effective cure within two months. However, there are ways to stop further deterioration of the situation, on the one hand by enhancing self-control and on the other by strengthening communication with other countries. The pandemic cannot be tamed if it gets out of control globally," Zhong said.