Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese CDC, also suggested that the disease would change the way we live and work forever.
He predicted that the virus would ‘co-exist with humans for a long time’.
Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese CDC, claimed that the new round of coronavirus infections in Beijing was still part of the first wave of COVID-19 cases. Pictured, people wait in line to undergo COVID-19 coronavirus swab tests in Beijing on June 30
China has been battling a new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing for the past three weeks since a cluster emerged from a seafood market.
Authorities put half a million people in Anxin County back into a strict Wuhan-style lockdown from Saturday out of concerns that the virus could spread to the area, which is about 90 miles from Beijing.
More than 2,000 residents of Anxin are said to work in the capital’s Xinfadi market, to which the new wave has been linked.
Epidemiologist Wu rejected claims that Beijing’s current round of infections signalled a second outbreak. He told state media that the world was still in the thick of the first wave.
China has been battling a new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing for the past three weeks since a cluster emerged from a seafood market. Pictured, people wearing protective face masks wait in line to undergo COVID-19 coronavirus swab tests at a testing station in Beijing on June 30
Wu told China News in an interview on Monday: ‘The first epidemic wave is not over at all. The global epidemic has been escalating since January and has stayed at a high-risk level.’
He linked the ‘vigorous growth’ in the number of global daily cases to the United States, Brazil and India.
‘We are very worried about the rapid growth,’ he said.
He stressed the coronavirus epidemic was not likely to ‘end all of a sudden’ like the SARS outbreak in 2003.
‘It is highly likely that [the virus] would co-exist with humans for a long time and change mankind’s lifestyle and workstyle from now on,’ the expert noted.
Authorities put half a million people near Beijing back into a strict Wuhan-style lockdown from Saturday. Pictured, a vendor walks past closed stalls at a food market in Beijing on June 22
Wu’s comments came as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday that the coronavirus pandemic is ‘not even close to being over’.
‘We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives,’ the WHO’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
‘But the hard reality is this is not even close to being over,’ he said, adding that ‘although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up’.
The virus emerged at least six months ago in China, where the WHO will send a team next week in the search for its origin, Tedros said.
The WHO’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (pictured) said on Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘not even close to being over’ and ‘globally the pandemic is actually speeding up’
In another grim milestone, the number of global infections recorded topped 10 million, while some authorities reimposed lockdown measures that have crippled the economies worldwide
China’s health officials on Tuesday reported 19 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for June 29, up from 12 a day earlier.
Of the new infections, seven were in Beijing, the National Health Commission said in a statement. The capital city had also reported seven new infections for June 28.
As of yesterday, 324 COVID-19 patients were receiving treatment in hospitals in Beijing, including three who were in critical condition, Beijing officials said.
Mainland China reported four new asymptomatic patients, who tested positive for COVID-19 but showed no clinical symptoms such as a fever, down from six a day earlier.
As of June 29, mainland China had a total of 83,531 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said.