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50% Of World Population Could Contract Coronavirus, Health Expert Warns

A coronavirus expert, Dr Richard Hatchet says the fight against a global pandemic, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is like being ‘at war’ with the virus as it has the potential to spread to 50% of the world population.

Coronavirus’ global death toll passed the 4,000 mark late Monday while those infected rose above 114 000.

Dr Hatchett compared the virus to war while saying the threat being posed is very significant.

The doctor who is working towards the creation of a vaccine warned the disruptive qualities of the virus haven’t been seen since the Spanish Flu in 1918.

He went on to suggest the deadly virus could have been circulating for weeks in the UK without anyone knowing.

“The potential of the virus is demonstrated in china and demonstrated in Italy and Iran. There were three cases in Italy two weeks ago – yesterday there were over 3,000.

“This is the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career, and that includes Ebola, it includes MERS and it includes SARS,” he said Sunday.

Speaking about how China has responded to the outbreak, he said: “It is like they are at war with the virus – all of society is mobilised in the fight against the virus.

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Contact tracing is very important – voluntary quarantine of contacts and isolation of cases is very important…” he said.

This is bad news for countries like Zimbabwe which have been struggling to provide proper health services due to the poor state of the health delivery system.

Just yesterday, the government announced that a Thai national had “escaped” from Wilkins Hospital, which is the designated centre for suspected cases of the virus.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care, however, stressed that there is no confirmed case of the new coronavirus causing COVID-19 in Zimbabwe and the Thai man who escaped from the isolation unit on Sunday had already been in the country longer than the incubation period.

City Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said the patient had, however, passed the incubation period and was not coming from the coronavirus epicentre.

“While we are looking for him so that we are satisfied that he does not have the virus for sure, we are not very worried because he had since passed his incubation period. He arrived in the country on February 14 from Thailand. More so, while Thailand also has cases, the outbreak is not as huge as it is in other countries of concern,” said Dr Chonzi.

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The COVID-19 has not affected children to a greater extent and what’s unclear is whether they have been infected and handled the infections well or maybe they are not being affected.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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