Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt predicts coronavirus to soon go away

Henrietta Brewer
March 25, 2020

"The real situation is not as almost as awful as they make it out to be", he told The Los Angeles Times, adding, "We're going to be fine".

While his observation brings hope for millions of people across the world, Levitt emphasises on the significance of the ongoing mitigation efforts by countries.

"What we need is to control the panic. we're going to be fine, ." he said.

This forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate: As of March 16, China had counted a total of 80,298 cases and 3,245 deaths - in a nation of almost 1.4 billion people where roughly 10 million die every year.


The recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2013 defies the doomsday predictions by various epidemiologists saying the data simply don't support such a dire scenario-especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place. The report says Levitt analysed data from 78 countries that have had more than 50 new cases every day and that he sees "signs of recovery" in many of them. Further, he predicted that the number of confirmed cases in China would hit about 80,000. He said this at a time when USA had less than 2,000 cases of COVID-19.

China has most recently confirmed 39 new cases of coronavirus infection this Sunday, which was down from the 46 confirmed cases a day before-and all of them were travelers from overseas, so that means there is no new community spread cases since Wednesday last week.

"Numbers are still noisy but there are clear signs of slowed growth". "The goal is not to reach the situation the cruise ship experienced". "This is not the time to go out drinking with your buddies", he warns.

Italy's strong anti-vaccine movement, he explained, likely played a factor in the explosion of cases, because the spread of the flu likely was a factor in overwhelming hospitals and increasing the chances of coronavirus going undetected.


The Times noted the seasonal flu has infected some 36 million Americans in just over six months and has killed around 22,000 people.

He fears the public health measures that have shut down large swaths of the economy could cause their own health catastrophe, as lost jobs lead to poverty and hopelessness.

Of course, as LA Times says in a report, he does stress on the need to "control the panic", but believes its trajectory is less fearsome than is popularly believed. So, fact remains we can't take it all that easy.For Levitt, the target for health systems has got to be "better early detection" - not just through testing but perhaps also with bodytemperature surveillance - and immediate social isolation.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Levitt began looking at the numbers of COVID-19 cases around the world back in January and saw that China had 46 new deaths on Jan. 31, which was slightly higher compared to the 42 deaths the day before.


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