China still faces an enormous challenge of a potential second wave of coronavirus infections, a top medical advisor of the country has warned. According to Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese government's senior medical adviser, the majority of Chinese are susceptible to the COVID-19 infection due to lack of immunity.
"The majority of ... Chinese at the moment are still susceptible to the COVID-19 infection, because (of) a lack of immunity," Nanshan, the public face of China's fight against coronavirus, was quoted in an exclusive CNN report.
"We are facing (a) big challenge, it's not better than the foreign countries I think at the moment," he said.
Nanshan also confirmed that that local authorities in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus first emerged in December last year, had suppressed important information about the magnitude of the initial outbreak, the report said.
According to China's National Health Commission (NHC), the country reported over 82,000 positive cases of coronavirus, with at least 4,633 deaths.
Zhong, known as the "SARS hero" for fighting the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic in 2003, played a key role even during this time of unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, especially in the critical early stages of the outbreak. He was the one who confirmed in January this year on state broadcaster CCTV that the coronavirus can be transmitted between humans.
Earlier in April, China reported the presence of asymptomatic coronavirus cases, raising concerns of a second wave of infections amid the relaxation of stringent measures in the country initiated to contain the deadly disease. Asymptomatic coronavirus cases are those who carry the virus but do not show any symptoms and can cause sporadic clusters of infections.
Besides the asymptomatic cases, the country also reported new imported cases, according to NHC.
China, which has banned new arrivals of foreigners to minimise imported cases, is limping back to normal with most of the factories and businesses humming with activity.
By Chitranjan Kumar with PTI inputs