The Coronavirus pandemic is likely to take about two years to run its course, the head of Germany's public health agency has said. He then went on to add that it all depends on the speed with which a vaccine against the virus is developed. Meanwhile, the deadly virus has infected over 1,89,752 and killed 7,513 people with a majority of them in mainland China.
Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, said that eventually some 60% to 70% of the global population would have been infected, recovered and acquired immunity, but it was impossible to say how fast that would happen. "Our working assumption is that it will take about two years," he told a news conference on March 16, adding that the timing also depended on how long it would take to get a vaccine developed and deployed. "We do not yet know what the death rate will look like in the end," he added.
He said that without the strict social distancing measures announced on March 16, Germany could end up facing millions of coronavirus cases. "We want to avoid that," he said, adding the institute was raising the risk level in Germany to "high". He also said hospitals would have to at least double their intensive care capacity as one in five cases were serious.
This comes as US President Donald Trump on March 17 said that the pandemic which has infected thousands and brought lives across countries to a standstill could end by July in the United States. While talking to reporters at the White House, Trump said that if they really work efficiently, the viral outbreak could end in July or August.
"So it seems to me that if we do a really good job... people are talking about July, August, something like that. So it could be right in that period of time where it, I say, it washes through.” The American leader also said that his country "maybe" heading into a recession due to the virus. He further said that he have asked the Americans to restrict gatherings to groups of fewer than 10 when socializing outside or indoors, international media reported.
Image credits: AP