Virologist Marc Van Ranst “This epidemic will last around 10 weeks”

The Leuven University virologist Marc Van Ranst has told VRT News that he expects that the coronavirus epidemic will last around 10 weeks. Professor Van Ranst bases his assertion on what he has seen in China. He also warns that the number of infections is set to rise considerably in the next few days. 

Speaking on VRT television news Marc Van Ranst told us to brace ourselves for several more weeks in which people continue to become infected and hospitalised. He added that over the next few days we will see the number of fatalities increase further.

“I can guarantee that in a couple of days we will think that the number of people that have been hospitalised and the number of people that have died up to now is low. It is awful to have to say it, but it is reality.”

Nevertheless, Professor Van Ranst did offer a ray of hope “Afterwards things will improve”.

Marc Van Ranst bases his predictions on events in Chinese metropolis Wuhan over the past few months. There the peak was reached some time ago and on Thursday for the first time no new infections were recorded.

The question on everyone’s lips is how long the epidemic will last here in Belgium? Professor Van Ranst compared the current coronavirus epidemic with an average flu epidemic. “This lasts 10 weeks. We saw that this was also the case with the epidemic in Wuhan and it will also be the case here”.

If the virologist’s predictions are correct it will be mid-May before the epidemic has run its course here.

When asked when the epidemic will peak here, Professor Van Ranst was less certain. However, he added that it won’t have been reached today (Friday).

“We will only be certain that the epidemic has peaked once the figures have fallen on several consecutive days. While the curve is still rising you cannot say that a peak has been reached. You only see it retrospectively”.

Marc Van Ranst went on to reassure viewers that our hospitals are prepared for an influx of COVID-19 patients and will be able cope. 

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