The number of coronavirus cases outside China will increase tenfold every 19 days if no drastic measures are taken to contain its spread, according to a study by a team of Chinese scientists.
The research, headed by leading geneticist Jin Li at Fudan University in Shanghai, also traced the spread of the virus outside China back to just 34 “unobserved carriers”.
Jin, who is known as China’s “DNA hunter”, said some of those carriers might be asymptomatic and have been present before or about the same time as the coronavirus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
The research paper, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, was published on Monday on Medrxiv.org – a preprint server for health sciences – and was based on data collected until the end of February.
If that were to happen, the number of cases around the world would surpass the figure reported in mainland China within a matter of months.