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Coronavirus to be controlled earlier than expected, predicts Nobel laureate

Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist Michael Levitt has predicted that the United States and the rest of the world would be able to control the spread of coronavirus earlier than expected.

His prediction is of great significance as he had predicted in January that China would get through the worst of its coronavirus outbreak long before many health experts had predicted.

He predicted that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths.

This forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate: As of March 25, China had counted a total of 81,218 cases and 3,281 deaths — in a nation of nearly 1.4 billion people where roughly 10 million die every year.

The number of newly diagnosed patients has dropped to around 25 a day, with no cases of community spread reported for a couple of past days.

Making his prediction, Michael Levitt said his models don’t support predictions that the virus will wreak months or even years of social disruption or cause millions of deaths, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“What we need is to control the panic … we’re going to be fine,” assured Levitt.

Now Levitt is looking at 78 countries that have reported more than 50 new infections each day.

He said he focuses on new cases — as opposed to overall totals — and sees “signs of recovery” in each of the places.

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“Numbers are still noisy, but there are clear signs of slowed growth,” Levitt said, without offering a concrete date for when the US may see its turning point.

The US has confirmed more than 46,000 cases, resulting in at least 593 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Levitt acknowledged that not all cases have been detected in some countries, but their death tolls are on track with his findings, the outlet reported.



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