AIDS expert optimistic about overcoming coronavirus

Inventor of AIDS cocktail therapy David Ho emphasizes importance of hand-washing to counter spread of COVID-19

Public panic hinders fight against COVID-19

Public panic hinders fight against COVID-19 (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The inventor of a cocktail therapy for AIDS, Dr. David Ho contends that 98 percent of the patients infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will recover — believing there is no need to panic despite the fact a vaccine will not come out any time soon.

As the coronavirus spreads around the U.S., Ho believes the current figure for infections is just the tip of the iceberg. In New York, face masks and sanitizers have sold out in pharmacies, according to VOA.

Ho said washing and sanitizing hands is the best way to stifle the spread of the coronavirus because it is transmitted through droplets and contaminated surfaces. Even though there is no existing medicine to target the virus, most patients will recover, and non-urgent cases do not need treatment to become healthy again.

The virology expert pointed out there are tens of thousands of people with seasonal flu despite the existence of medicine and vaccines. Still, people do not give it the same amount of attention.

"The truth is the death rate of COVID-19 is three or four times less than SARS and 10 times less than MERS, the reason people feel frightened about COVID-19 is that it is a rather unfamiliar and mysterious disease," Ho told VOA.

As an expert who has fought the coronavirus for decades, Ho refuted the idea of creating a new vaccine that is safe for the public to use in just a few months. He said that even though some companies might produce an effective vaccine, it will still take one year to 18 months for testing.

Before the vaccine is finally released, Ho said public health education was critical. He dismissed the idea of healthy people wearing face masks all the time, which is common in Asia, and underlined the importance of washing hands frequently.

Updated : 2021-03-08 00:51 GMT+08:00