Expert shares coronavirus fight opinions at forum
Dr Zhang Wenhong, chief of the experts team for coronavirus treatment in Shanghai, shared his opinions on the latest pandemic developments during an interview at the Pujiang Innovation Forum.
Q: How do you see Beijing's new cluster infections?
It’s just an unexpected, small-scale outbreak rather than a second wave of infections.
In the epidemic curve, the number of cases keeps going up until it hits a peak, stays around the peak for some time and then goes down. But the infections in Beijing aren't seeing a very significant peak, and it's now under control.
In China, many places have been reporting zero or very few domestic cases. But globally, it’s still in the first wave because curves in some countries are still rising sharply.
Q: Will COVID-19 co-exist with human beings for a long time?
It’s hard to say. It’s just about half a year since the virus was discovered and developed into a global epidemic.
Based on current cases, people can carry the virus up to 100 days. Also, we don’t have evidence to prove that COVID-19 will become a virus like hepatitis or human immunodeficiency virus that can’t be killed and that leads to chronic infection.
Q: How to fight COVID-19?
First, we have to rely on vaccines to beat the virus.
Second, it requires global effort to take scientific and efficient measures to contain the virus. East Asia countries are doing a great job, and China has joined efforts to help less-developed countries fight the pandemic. But some developed countries haven’t reached a consensus. I hope the World Health Organization keeps playing a leading role.
Q: When will international travel go back to normal?
This requires every country to contain the virus. However, cases in America and Africa are still rising. So, people may be asked to undergo tests before departure and upon arrival. This still sets barrier.
Q: What do you want to say to young medical workers?
For them, this is a chance to grow up. For authorities, they need to care more about young medics, and provide a good environment to protect them and promote sustainable development. Also, it alerts the country to improve the public health system.
Q: What to do in the post-pandemic period?
Wear masks in crowded places, wash hands frequently and keep social distance. If people can follow these measures, it will greatly reduce the risks of getting infected.
Q: How do you see neutralizing antibody treatment?
My colleagues and I at Huashan Hospital are doing clinical research on a home-grown neutralizing antibody treatment for the coronavirus. It can “neutralize” any effect that the virus causes. It is considered as the most promising treatment in the short term. If we succeed, it will save many severely-ill patients.