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As the world community is racing to find an effective solution to contain the novel coronavirus, researchers have pinned hope that the virus would not be this deadly with the arrival of summer.
US President Donald Trump earlier this month said that the coronavirus will "go away" in April. The logic he cited was that the heat generally kills this kind of virus. Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock had also reportedly said that the virus could be less transmissible during summer.
And it is not just a handful of politicians who think summer will bring some good news.
"Novel coronavirus came from a wild animal. Infections which happen in winters are respiratory in nature. We get a viral infection at least twice in a year. The difference was that this strain of coronavirus was a resistant strain. However the infection rate is going down. By summer, it is expected that the strain will come down," Vikas Maurya, Director and Head of Department of Pulmonology and Sleep Disorders at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi, said.
The novel coronavirus which has so far killed over 2,400 people in China has already spread to over two dozen countries, leading to cancellations of a number of high-profile international business events, badly hurting travel and tourism, while adversely impacting several other sectors of the economy due to restrictions in China.
According to Neha Gupta, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, at Medanta hospital in Gurugram, the types of infections that coronavirus has caused generally occur "during winter or early spring".
"Looking at the outbreak of the coronavirus, we expect summers should curtail it as hot temperatures usually kill viruses," she said.
But even if the infection rate comes down during the summer, is there a chance that the scare could return in the next winter?
Some believe that this could happen, but they hope that by that time the world should be better equipped to deal with the virus.
"It will become a known strain and a registered strain which can be dealt with effectively. At the moment there is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, but research is ongoing and maybe in a year there will be a vaccine or drug," Maurya said.
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The deadly virus, which experts believe emanated from a wild animal market in the city of Wuhan last month, has triggered a desperate Chinese containment effort after spreading nationwide and to more than a dozen other countries.
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