Coronavirus pandemic | Novartis CEO warns of second COVID-19 wave
While the pace of new infections is likely to slow down in Italy and Spain, a massive surge in numbers is expected in the United States, Vasant Narasimhan said
March 30, 2020 / 01:57 PM IST
Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan (Image: Reuters)
Novartis Chief Executive Officer Vasant Narasimhan has predicted that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will sweep the world. Speaking to Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, he said the first global outbreak of the deadly pandemic is likely to end in a few months.
The Indian-American physician warned that pandemics come in waves, which is why it is important to keep testing suspected cases and collecting data, reported the Live Mint quoting a Bloomberg report.
His comments came as the number of COVID-19 positive cases across the world breached the 7,00,000 mark. While the pace of new infections is likely to slow down in Italy and Spain – both of which have possibly reached their peak — a massive surge in numbers is expected in the United States, said Narasimhan.
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Novartis is currently taking in requests and offering its premises to multiple companies that are looking at fast-tracking the production of medication to fight the novel coronavirus.
The company was looking at restructuring itself by downsizing, but that plan has been put on hold for now and Narasimhan has also assured that there would not be any pandemic-related firings.
Meanwhile, the authorities in several Asian countries – where the numbers seemed to have dwindled momentarily – have begun bracing for the second wave of novel coronavirus infections. In China, for instance, the number of COVID-19 positive cases began rising again with the laxation of strict lockdowns that had been imposed. Several of the new cases are reportedly “imported cases” and not domestic.