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Coronavirus pandemic will end in summer at best, expert says

As of now, over 403,000 people have been infected around the world

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. At best, the coronavirus pandemic will decline in the summer, and at worst, it will remain in Russia for another season, virologist, head of the laboratory of the microorganisms ecology, the School of Biomedicine of the Far Eastern Federal University Mikhail Shchelkanov said in an interview with NTV.

"The best-case scenario is that in summer, our European and American colleagues will be able to take control of this situation and prevent expansion of this epidemic wave. That would be very good," he said.

The interim scenario for the development of a pandemic, the virologist considers a situation where the coronavirus will remain in the world for another season, and that Europe will have to be quarantined by universal efforts. Then, in his opinion, China will be forced to close its borders from the United States and the European Union, since their situation is stabilizing.

"The worst-case scenario is when it will really sweep the whole planet, ... then we will spend the next winter season in a full-fledged epidemic in Russia," the expert said.

In addition, Shchelkanov noted that the Russian biological safety system had already solved the main problem by delaying the arrival of coronavirus in the country for at least two months. Such measures made it possible to accumulate test systems, create action plans, establish operational interagency cooperation, and make strategic reserves.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 150 countries, including Russia.

On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As of now, over 403,000 people have been infected around the world and more than 18,000 have died. Russia has identified 495 cases so far, 22 patients have recovered.