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Expert reaction to China reporting drop in new cases of COVID-19 for a third consecutive day

Posted On: 17 Feb 2020   |   Posted By: Science Media Centre

China has reported that the number of new cases of COVID-19 has dropped for a third consecutive day.
Prof Mark Woolhouse, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh, said:
“If the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan and Hubei has peaked then this would be encouraging news for the rest of the world too. We should be cautious though; it could simply be that reporting is not keeping up with events in circumstances where the health services are under enormous pressure. But even if we haven't reached the peak yet we expect to do so within weeks. Two things will influence what we expect to see.
“First, it could be that the public health measures introduced in China are having some effect. Though it is unrealistic to reduce transmission rates to zero it may be possible to reduce them to a level where the epidemic is brought under control.
“Or it could be that the epidemic is already starting to run out of new people to infect in the region. This is only likely if, as many epidemiologists suspect,...

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