BEIJING: Chinese experts are of the view that by April, the United States would become the new epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic. At present, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases in the US is around 41,000 which could double by the next month and surpass China’s tally of 81,093 cases.
The pandemic is worsening sharply in New York and the states of California and Washington.
Quoting several experts, the Chinese daily Global Times said the present figures of Covid-19 positive cases in the US could be quite high as a large section of suspected carriers of the virus have not been tested yet.
US Vice President Mike Pence had earlier said that more than 195,000 people in the US have been tested for the virus as of Saturday. The reported number of infected cases had reached 35,224, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center of John Hopkins University, showing that at least 18 per cent of those being tested were confirmed to have contracted the disease.
“Such a high percentage is horrifying, making us wonder if there might be at least 100,000 Americans who had been already infected but had not yet been tested,” Mei Xinyu, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, was quoted by China Daily as saying. In the first half of April, the confirmed cases in the US would exceed the overall number of confirmed infections in China, Mei predicted.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO) expert Mike Ryan has said in a BBC talk show that lockdowns of cities and states are not enough to contain the pandemic. Ryan was of the view that US authorities should first identify the suspects at a large scale and put them on the test. To suppress the virus, identification and testing of all contacts of Covid-19 positive patients are essential.
Lu Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, disclosed to the Chinese media that recent declarations made by US President Donal Trump have a very limited effect on containing the outbreak as the federal government can issue only financial policies to assist states, rather than sending thousands of professional medical teams to reinforce local hospitals like what China had done in Hubei Province, the hardest-hit location in China.