A senior Chinese medical expert said that because of the country ’s lack of immunity, the country may face the potential threat of a second wave of coronavirus infection.
After months of blockade and travel restrictions, China has basically controlled the virus, but as new virus clusters emerge in northeastern provinces and the central city of Wuhan, concerns about the second wave of the virus have increased.
“The majority of… Chinese at the moment are still susceptible of the COVID-19 infection, because (of) a lack of immunity,” Zhong Nanshan, the public face of government’s response to the pandemic, told CNN.
“We are facing (a) big challenge,” Zhong added. “It’s not better than the foreign countries I think at the moment.”
Zhong Guozhong, who had helped expose the scale of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, also said that in the early stages of the pandemic, there were insufficient cases reported at the ground level in Wuhan.
“The local authorities, they didn’t like to tell the truth at that time,” said Zhong, who was part of a team of experts sent to Wuhan to investigate the outbreak.
“I didn’t believe that result (the number of cases reported) so I (kept) asking and then, you have to give me the real number,” he said.
But he added that he believed the data released by Wuhan after it was locked in late January, and when the central government controlled the response, “will be correct.”
According to official news collected by AFP, the new coronavirus has killed at least 309,296 people, and scientists around the world are racing to find vaccines.
Zhong cautioned that a “perfect” vaccine for a disease that the World Health Organisation (WHO) says may never disappear could take “years”.