A dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases is “wishful thinking”, says an Indian-American professor

indica News Bureau-

Many experts are claiming that the novel coronavirus may begin to decline from September onwards. But there is no solid conviction to this claim, as the understanding of the virus itself unclear.

In fact, contrary to this claim, an eminent Indian-American professor has warned that the total death toll in the US from the novel coronavirus pandemic could hit the grim figure of 200,000 by September.

Ashish Jha, the head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, told CNN on Wednesday that he is not trying to “scare” people to stay at home rather urged everyone to wear masks, adhere to the social distancing rules and called for ramping up testing and tracing infrastructure.

His advice comes right on time when America is all ready to reopen its economy. “Anybody who’s expecting a dramatic decrease in cases is almost surely engaging in wishful thinking,” Jha said.

Jha said the 200,000-death toll is “not just a guess”. Currently, 800-1000 people are dying daily in America from the virus and all data suggest that the situation is going to get worse.

“We’re gonna have increased, but even if we assume that it’s going to be flat all summer, that nothing is going to get worse… even if we pick that low number of 800 a day, that is 25,000 (deaths) a month in three and a half months. We’re going to add another 88,000 people and we will hit 200,000 sometime in September,” Jha said. The United States is by far the hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, in terms of both confirmed infections and deaths.

He insisted that people should take measures as that will help suppress the virus and ensure people could get back outside safely but he voiced concern that this was not the situation in reality.

We’re not doing that and so we’re going to, unfortunately, have another 25,000 deaths a month until September, and then it’ll keep going. It’s not going to magically disappear. We’ve got a turnaround. This is not the future I want,” he said somberly.

The earliest of vaccines are expected to hit the markets only by October. By that time the virus could take more lives than we can imagine, unless as individuals we take responsibility for each other and curb the spread by taking simple precautionary measures.