There is no evidence that the coronavirus epidemic is slowing down, says WHO

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LONDON / MILAN (Reuters) – There is no evidence that the coronavirus epidemic is losing its potential, the World Health Organization (WHO) and several scientists said Monday after comments by a reputable Italian doctor who claimed that “clinically”, the new coronavirus was gone.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO epidemiologist, and other virology and infection specialists on Monday denounced remarks without scientific basis.

No data confirms that the trajectory of the coronavirus has changed significantly, any more than its virulence, they say.

“As far as communicability is concerned, nothing has changed,” said Maria Van Kerkhove to the press.

Analyzes carried out on the virus itself do not show any genetic modification making it possible to affirm that the coronavirus which appeared at the end of December in China is losing virulence, added Martin Hibberd, professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

These words contradict statements made Sunday by Sunday Professor Alberto Zangrillo, director of intensive care at San Raffaele hospital in Lombardy.

He said he relied on a study by another scientist to be published this week.

“We never said that the virus had changed, we said that the interaction between the virus and its host has changed,” he told Reuters.

These changes could be attributed to new characteristics of the virus, which have so far not been identified, or to a change in population characteristics.

(Kate Kelland and Emilio Parodi; French version Nicolas Delame)



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