Even as the world community is racing against time to find an effective solution to contain the novel coronavirus, several political leaders and even others including doctors and researchers have pinned hope that the virus would not be this deadly with the arrival of summer.
US President Donald Trump earlier this month said that the coronavirus will “go away” in April. The logic he cited was that the heat generally kills this kind of virus. Trump is not only only politician to express hope that things will improve in the summers. Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock had also reportedly said that the virus could be less transmissible during summer.
And it is not just a handful of politicians who think summer will bring some good news.
“Novel coronavirus came from a wild animal. Infections which happen in winters are respiratory in nature. We get a viral infection at least twice in a year. The difference was that this strain of coronavirus was a resistant strain. However the infection rate is going down. By summer, it is expected that the strain will come down,” Vikas Maurya, Director and Head of Department of Pulmonology and Sleep Disorders at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi, told IANS.
The novel coronavirus which has so far killed over 2,400 people in China has already spread to over two dozen countries, leading to cancellations of of number of high-profile international business events, badly hurting travel and tourism, while adversely impacting several other sectors of the economy due to restrictions in China.
According to Neha Gupta, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, at Medanta hospital in Gurugram, the types of infections that coronavirus has caused generally occur “during winter or early spring”.
“Looking at the outbreak of the coronavirus, we expect summers should curtail it as hot temperatures usually kill viruses,” she said.
But even if the infection rate come down during the summer, is there a chance that the scare could return in the next winter?
Some believe that this could happen, but they hope that by that time the world should be better equipped to deal with the virus.
“It will become a known strain and a registered strain which can be dealt with effectively. At the moment there is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, but research is ongoing and maybe in a year there will be a vaccine or drug,” Maurya said.
It should here be noted that these are only expectations and no one is actually sure that the virus will certainly die out during summer. So the international medical community is not letting complacency set in in their efforts to find effective solutions to deal with the virus.
According to Gupta, the symptoms of coronavirus infections are cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.
“What we suggest is that since this is a respiratory virus we should know cough etiquette and ensure hand hygiene. When we cough droplets fall and then if we touch surfaces which are infected cause the virus to enter our body. Having disposable tissues and washing your hands is of immense importance,” said Maurya.
Gupta also stressed on the importance of wearing masks, cough etiquette and hand hygiene to stay safe, while asking people to avoid close contact with anyone suffering from acute respiratory infections and avoiding visits to live animal markets.