COVID-19 Frontline: When will COVID-19 disappear?
Updated 07:36, 04-Jul-2020

Editor's note: On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and as of July 3, about 200 countries and regions have confirmed over 10,533,000 cases, according to the WHO. On its live program "COVID-19 Frontline," CGTN invited workers and experts from China and other parts of the world to share their experiences and take questions from social media, in the hope of providing more information for those who are battling against the pandemic.

In the latest episodes of CGTN's live stream program "COVID-19 Frontline" held on July 2, CGTN invited medical experts from China and Africa to exchange their views on treating COVID-19 patients and current situation of the pandemic. 

Live: Doctors from China and Africa share COVID-19 experience

As of now, there have been 10,533,779 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 512,842 deaths, according to the WHO. 

CGTN's live stream program "COVID-19 Frontline". /CGTN

CGTN's live stream program "COVID-19 Frontline". /CGTN

When will COVID-19 disappear?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world, people are wondering if there is any possibility for COVID-19 to disappear, and if so, when will it happen.

Wu Dong, associate professor from Peking Union Medical College Hospital, said COVID-19 wouldn't disappear in the short term. But he is optimistic about the future as history tells that viruses can coexist with humans.

Li Guangxi, director of Guang'anmen Hospital's Pulmonary Division, said by comparing demographic and clinical characteristics between the patients in Saudi Arabia and China, the symptoms of COVID-19 are gradually becoming less severe as time goes by. The severe patients with COVID-19 are not as many as in Wuhan during the first outbreak. In the long run, humans eventually will coexist with the virus.

COVID-19 and vulnerable population. /CGTN

COVID-19 and vulnerable population. /CGTN

Liu Zhiguo, deputy chief physician from Guang'anmen Hospital under the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, agrees that COVID-19 will coexist with humans in the future. "We can place our hope in the novel coronavirus vaccine to a certain extent. If an effective vaccine is developed and the virus doesn't mutate much, then maybe the novel coronavirus can be gradually suppressed. In the future, we may also need to pay attention to novel coronavirus besides influenza A and B during flu season," Liu said.


What is the cause of death from COVID-19?

Peterson Wachira, national chairman of Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, wondered if there were any autopsies done on COVID-19 fatalities in China to further understand the cause of death. Was it due to pneumonia, thrombosis, or other pathophysiological causes?

Wu Dong said that autopsies on five patients in Wuhan showed that the patients had very severe pulmonary lesions. There was fibrosis in the lungs, and some of the air tubes in the lungs were also greatly affected. He considered the pathophysiological change in the lungs an important cause of death.


Safe management measures

Peterson Wachira said Kenya is going to resume production, but the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases is increasing rapidly. So he would like to know some safe management measures that can curb the spread of the virus.

Wu Dong said for individuals, the most important things are to keep social distance and always wear a mask because you don't know who around you is carrying the virus and who isn't. Non-COVID-19 patients can choose to consult doctors online or by telephone, without necessarily going to the hospital, which can reduce their COVID-19 infection risk. From the government's perspective, susceptible people should be tested, which can help identify potential carriers.

Li Guangxi added that the economy shutdown couldn't last forever. But it's better to avoid crowd gathering. The ultimate goal is to control the infection rate as low as possible.

CGTN's live stream program "COVID-19 Frontline." /CGTN

CGTN's live stream program "COVID-19 Frontline." /CGTN

In later episodes of "COVID-19 Frontline," more frontline doctors and experts from China will join in to share their working experience with their colleagues from other parts of the world. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, you can ask here #MyOpinionOnCOVID19 on Facebook.

Videos by Zhang Rongyi

Cover image by Du Chenxin