HEAD – Is the coronavirus epidemic slowing down?
Dr Ryan revealed routine winter testing of patients with chest ailments in hospitals in China, Singapore and Hong Kong indicated no widespread COVID-19 transmission.
He said: “In emergency rooms and as part of normal winter respiratory disease surveillance, they’ve been actively testing thousands of samples that are not suspect cases of COVID.
“At the moment, we’re just not seeing COVID activity amongst those samples, and that would give an indication that the iceberg may not be that great – but it’s not a guarantee.”
However, the health expert insisted fears only a fraction of cases were being detected were “as valid as speculations in the other direction.”
He adding no specific treatments existed for patients, beyond “standard antivirals” used for previous coronavirus outbreaks, such as during 2003’s SARS epidemic.
He also explained new drugs and vaccines will take time and the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars, before urging public and private investment to collaborate to spread the risk.
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