GUANGZHOU, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan said he is confident that the novel coronavirus outbreak would be basically under control by the end of April.
Zhong made the remarks at a press conference in Guangzhou on Thursday.
"With the strong measures taken by the central government and the joint efforts made by medics across the country, we're confident that the epidemic will be basically under control by the end of April," said Zhong, in south China's Guangdong Province.
Talking about the ongoing epidemic, Zhong said though the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China.
"Though the COVID-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China," said Zhong.
"We need greater international cooperation. This is a human disease, not a national disease," Zhong said, adding that the Guangzhou Medical University has already strengthened cooperation with foreign universities.
Latest research have found that the novel coronavirus has a prominent feature whereby patients have a large amount of very sticky mucus in their small airways, said Zhong, adding that obstruction of the airway can lead to secondary infections. "We are working to solve the problem."
The mortality rate among critically ill patients in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is close to 60 percent, according to Zhong. Experts are searching for solutions to hypoxia, and some new methods have proved effective in relieving breathing difficulties of patients in Wuhan, he said.
Addressing the question that some patients discharged from hospital after initial recovery have tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, Zhong said COVID-19 is a new infectious disease, the process of which is not known yet.
"We can't draw an absolute conclusion at present and have to follow its development closely. But according to the laws of microorganisms, those with enough antibodies will not be infected again," Zhong said.