The novel coronavirus will not be eradicated after the global lockdown period, rather it is likely to return in waves like seasonal flu, according to China's top scientists.
The characteristics of coronavirus are quite different than SARS virus, despite both being a respiratory disease. Once quarantined properly, SARS virus stopped spreading and that's how it was gone from the planet 17 years ago, Bloomberg reported.
But in the case of coronavirus, the group of so-called asymptomatic carriers makes it hard to fully contain transmission as they can spread the virus undetected. That's why, China has started seeing new Covid-19 patients again despite bringing the epidemic under control, a group of Chinese viral and medical researchers told reporters in Beijing at a briefing Monday.
"This is very likely to be an epidemic that co-exists with humans for a long time, becomes seasonal and is sustained within human bodies," said Jin Qi, director of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at China's top medial research institute, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
Anthony Fauci, the director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview last month that "Covid-19 could become a seasonal ailment. He cited as evidence cases now showing up in countries across the southern hemisphere as they enter their winter seasons."
A consensus is forming among top researchers and governments worldwide that the virus is unlikely to be eliminated, despite costly lockdowns that have brought much of the global economy to a halt. Some public health experts are calling for the virus to be allowed to spread in a controlled way through younger populations like India's, while countries like Sweden have opted out of strict lockdowns.
More than 3 million people have been infected and over 210,000 killed in the global pandemic.