See More on Facebook

News

Answers to 5 key questions regarding coronavirus

Deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Feng Zijian, answered questions about the novel coronavirus epidemic during an interview with China Central Television.


Written by

Updated: January 29, 2020

Feng Zijian, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, answered questions about the novel coronavirus epidemic during an interview with China Central Television on Monday night. Below are excerpts from the interview:

Why has the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus increased dramatically?

The sharp increase of confirmed cases has a lot to do with the ability of the coronavirus to spread. Currently it seems that human-to-human transmission is getting stronger.

Another factor contributing to the rocketing number of infections lies in the timing of the epidemic outbreak, which happened in early December. As the Spring Festival travel rush kicked off less than a month later, people in areas with severe infections traveled nationwide, which accelerated the spread of the disease.

Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak and with a backlog of suspected cases, has seen especially rapid growth of confirmed cases due to the recent centralization of diagnosis.

Why did the number of confirmed cases surpass that of severe acute respiratory syndrome in a shorter time?

The research shows that human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus is similar to SARS, which means that a patient can infect two to three people on average.

However, the doubling time of the novel coronavirus is shorter than that of SARS. Compared with nine days to double the number of infected cases in terms of SARS, it only takes about six or seven days for the novel coronavirus.

Are the changes in the novel coronavirus the reason for the increase in infected children?

The increase in child cases might be related to the various chances of human exposure. People at different ages are all susceptible to the new respiratory pathogen. But the chance of exposure may vary due to different ages, and so does the incidence.

It’s observed that the symptoms of the pneumonia disease seem to be less severe in a child than an adult. No critical conditions have been reported in child cases.

Will there be another outbreak period of the novel coronavirus in the future? When can the epidemic be basically controlled?

It is very difficult indeed to predict the epidemic trend at present. With multiple measures having been taken, we will effectively control the spread of the coronavirus. But we can’t have high hopes it will be done in a week.

We must continue to strengthen prevention and control measures and step up diagnosis and treatment efforts in areas of severe infections, as well as enhance the detection of infected cases in other places. We will also trace people with close contact with patients and put them in medical observation. The epidemic will be brought under control as long as all the measures can be put in place.

What’s the point of extending the Spring Festival holiday? Is there a need to further extend it?

It’s a very important strategy to control the spread of respiratory infectious disease through human-to-human transmission by reducing the flow of people and personal contact, as well as increasing interpersonal distance. Chinese authorities extended the Lunar New Year holiday as a key measure to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The longer the holidays are, the better control of the epidemic will be. But we also have to balance things because people still have to live and work, and emergency materials have to be produced and transported.

On the one hand, we have to take measures to block the spread of the epidemic. On the other hand, we have to minimize the impact on people’s lives, as well as social and economic impacts.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

News

EDITORIAL: Mr Trump in India

US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. The diplomatic irony has been rather exceptionally bitter. Donald Trump’s 36-hour visit to India was somewhat pushed out of focus by the communal flare-up that has overwhelmed parts of Delhi, with the death toll rising to 27 till Thursday afternoon. And yet the US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. And unlike some previous US Presidents, Mr Trump chose not to follow up his visit to India with another to Pakistan… as often as not to sing a different piece. No, he hasn


By The Statesman
February 28, 2020

News

As Covid-19 spreads, public health officials consider plans for a worst-case scenario

 Department of Health Services has a Plan B for a few infections but its Plan C envisions shutting down all schools, public transport and gatherings in case of a mass outbreak. While Covid-19 coronavirus infections have significantly slowed in China, they are rapidly spreading around the globe, prompting countries to step up measures to control the spread and the UN 


By The Kathmandu Post
February 28, 2020

News

Vietnam reaffirms support for nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, has reaffirmed Vietnam’s strong support for the realisation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on three pillars. During a session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NPT, Ambassador Quy affirmed that Vietnam has joined all international efforts regarding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, including regional and global conventions; complied with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s highest safety standards; and strictly followed the UNSC’s resolutions. He said any intentional, unintentional or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons seriously threatened global peace and


By Viet Nam News
February 28, 2020

News

Budget debate: Coronavirus concerns present long-term opportunities, say MPs

Many have little savings to see them though a work drought, she said, noting that a number of events and work assignments have been cancelled or deferred as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. While the coronavirus outbreak has battered businesses, it has also created opportunities to better prepare Singapore for future challenges, MPs said on Thursday (Feb 27). Speaking on Day 2 of the debate on the Budget statement, they said these include getting more firms to adopt e-commerce, diversifying supply sources and making flexible work arrangements permanent for working parents and caregivers. A total of 54 MPs, including political office holders, spoke over two days on various aspects of the Budget. USING TODAY’S CRISIS TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTU


By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020

News

Coronavirus: 2 new cases confirmed; 4 more, including private hospital doctor, discharged

 Two patients from the Grace Assembly of God cluster, cases 49 and 73, were also discharged.  Two new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Feb 26) and four others have recovered and were discharged. This brings the total number of cases here to 93, of which 62 have fully recovered. Case 59, the private hospital doctor, was among the four discharged. The 61-year-old Singaporean was confirmed to have the virus on Feb 13 and had been warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. He is not linked to any of the five known clusters but is a non-medical contact of case 72, a 40-year-old man from China who holds a Singapore work pass. Case 56, a Banglad


By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020

News

Japan provides protective gear for use in battling coronavirus

 The government of Japan has given personal protective supplies to the Ministry of Health to help medical staff if they are required to care for people infected with the coronavirus. The items were handed over at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday by the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Mr Takewaka Keizo, to Minister of Health Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong. The supplies comprised 4,680 isolation gowns, 6,100 gloves, 6,000 N95 masks, 13,200 surgical masks, 27 goggles, and 240 bottles of alcohol hand rub. Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong thanked the government of Japan for its assistance, saying “On behalf of Laos, we would like to express our appreciation to the government of Japan for its continuing support to our country.” The ministry has been st


By Vientiane Times
February 27, 2020