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News18 » India
2-min read

COVID-19 Can be Defeated Sooner Than Predicted, Says Nobel Prize-Winning Prof. But Here’s a Caveat

The professor’s estimation stands in stark contrast with most health experts, who believe that the battle is going to be a long haul. Some have even predicted that it may take as long as next year to set things back to normal.

Simantini Dey | News18.com

Updated:March 24, 2020, 2:49 PM IST
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COVID-19 Can be Defeated Sooner Than Predicted, Says Nobel Prize-Winning Prof. But Here’s a Caveat
A municipal worker sweeps an empty Connaught Place, Delhi's famous and oldest shopping area on the first day of lockdown amid concerns over the spread of Coronavirus in New Delhi. (AP Photo)

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic has taken over 14,652 lives and infected 3,34, 981 people across 190 countries, so far. Although these figures have triggered anxiety and instilled fear and nervousness among many, Nobel laureate Michael Levitt said that hope can be derived from the COVID-19 data.

According to an article published in LA Times over the weekend, Levitt, a Nobel peace prize-winning professor of Structural Biology at Stanford University, has predicted that we may be able to defeat coronavirus sooner than experts estimated. However, there is a caveat: only if we practice social distancing religiously, said Levitt, who has been analysing the data of COVID-19 cases.

The professor’s estimation stands in stark contrast with what we have been hearing from the health experts, including CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) until now. Most experts have claimed that the battle is going to be a long haul, with some predicting that it may take as long as next year to set things back to normal.

Levitt was one of the first few scientists to predict that China will be able to contain the spread of coronavirus soon.

How Michael Levitt Predicted China’s Victory Over Coronavirus

In an article published on February 25 in DailyChina.com, Levitt claimed that he studied the data of COVID-19 cases released by China and the WHO from the beginning of the month, and discovered the speed of the progression of the virus based on the daily number of deaths has peaked.

The article quotes Levitt saying, "I was very surprised by the level of alarm in the world because the death rate outside Hubei province was something like 0.2 per cent, so I thought I should try to calm people by doing my own analysis of the data."

So far, China has depicted that if stringent measures are taken, coronavirus can truly be contained at a faster pace. However, there have been concerns about the new wave of infection as travel restrictions are being relaxed and people return back to the workplace. A Reuters report claims with the return of infected travellers, there has been a doubling of new coronavirus cases in Chinese cities, which have had no new cases other than the imported ones in the recent days.

Can Levitt be right?

If Levitt is correct, then we have much reason to rejoice. According to LA Times report, currently, Levitt is analysing the data of 78 other countries, where he is focusing on the new cases being identified and whether the number of new cases is changing on a daily basis. So far, the scientist said he has seen 'signs of recovery' in many of the countries.

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Data Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India
Updated: April 04 (09:00 AM)
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Data Source: Johns Hopkins University, U.S. (www.jhu.edu)
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