Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomeHealthChina 'secret' could explain why Covid barely spread beyond Wuhan, says Apollo's Prathap Reddy

China ‘secret’ could explain why Covid barely spread beyond Wuhan, says Apollo’s Prathap Reddy

At ThePrint's Off The Cuff, Apollo Hospitals chairman Dr Prathap Reddy said Covid was defying normal virus behaviour, and hoped China would reveal how to control it.

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New Delhi: China might be holding on to “some form of secrecy” given that the Covid-19 disease hasn’t particularly spread to any of its regions other than Wuhan, the original epicentre of the pandemic, said Dr Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals.

“I think that should make us realise that there is something to it. Except the Wuhan region, the virus didn’t spread to any other part of China… Meanwhile, it has spread to almost every village in India. There were 21 cases in my district alone,” he told Shekhar Gupta, ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief at the digital edition of Off The Cuff on 10 July.

Discussing the virus, Dr Reddy also noted how this was “not an ordinary virus” and it was “defying the normal features of a virus”.

If not the medicine, Dr Reddy hoped the Chinese would reveal how to control the virus at least. “I wish they were this large-hearted. They should care for humanity,” he said.

In China, where the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 first emerged, Covid-19 cases have hovered around the 84,000-mark for months now while the global count has surpassed 1.3 crore. In India, the caseload crossed 9.6 lakh as of Thursday.

Also read: How decades of work on elusive HIV vaccine has given hope for a ‘quick’ Covid vaccine

‘Not an ordinary virus’

The Apollo Hospitals group chairman said the novel coronavirus is a different kind of virus because it’s been killing people in winter as well as summer. But he clarified that he couldn’t “speculate” if the virus came from a lab.

“This virus is killing people in the winter and summer. So, it is a different kind of virus which we need to watch carefully. But I can’t speculate that it came from a lab,” he said.

There remains speculation over the origin of the virus as scientists across the world try to determine where it came from, and when and how it was transmitted to humans. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and French virologist and Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier had claimed that the virus was made in a lab. This theory gained some currency, but studies have shown that the virus couldn’t be man-made.

Asked for his views, Dr Reddy said, “I won’t definitively say it is a lab virus, I don’t have the proof to say it is … All I can say is that it is metamorphosing so fast that it is not an ordinary virus.”

Reddy further said he has been “baffled” by the nature of this virus.

“I remember when the Ebola virus outbreak (occured) in Africa, which killed over 30 per cent of the patients. However, the moment the temperature went up, it became normal,” he said.

He also recalled the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, where he had sent a team of people to assess the intensity of the outbreak. MERS was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, killing almost 35 per cent people who contracted it.

“The team I sent set up a process protocol and in five days the number of deaths dropped. It did so not just because of us but also because the temperature went up till 30 degrees,” said Dr Reddy.

The coronavirus is acting “very aggressively and is defying the normal features of a virus”, he said, adding that all the other viruses either lived or died but this one has been changing its morphology rather quickly.

Also read: Coronavirus infection transmitted from mother to foetus in France


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  1. Prathap Reddy has made himself a great fool by making such stupid speech, pretending to be smart in hinting a China’s conspiracy. Apollo hospitals should investigate his qualification, as his medical certificate is likely a fake one sold in Bombay, a common practice of 80% India Drs are quack(quoted India ex-Health Minister, Reuters).

    Not just China, but Taiwan, SK, Spore, Vietnam, Nz, Oz and various Asia countries are containing the outbreak very well, all achieved by a similar very organized gov using strong actions (which West accused as authoritarian) and a very discipline nations that trust their gov to obey strict lockdown guidelines, with a robust test, trace and quarantine regime.

    Whereas India Godi fired off a disastrous unprepared lockdown that resulted in 100Mils hungry jobless migrant workers walking thousands km back to hometowns, spreading the virus to every corners faraway. Even India took early precaution wisely as early as Feb2020 like most Asia, India infamous broken healthcare and supply chain can’t sustain a nation wide lockdown or systematic trace & quarantine regime that China & other Asians adopted.

    India 400Mils crowded slums dwellers, untreated sewage discharge into water sources, with 740Mils defecating outdoor are a huge petri dish for any virus.

    Delhi study had found 33% sampling have anti-body since May’20, implying up to 400Mils are already infected. But India has very low testing capacity with no ability to trace & quarantine. Its a gone case.

    Infact India people are worst in violating lockdown guidelines even in overseas. 99% of Singapore cases are reported from the 200,000 India-Bangladesh workers is not mere coincidence. 90% imported cases are from India. Those caught violating lockdown curfew running wild & drunk are mostly India national. If these Top3% of Indians are so badly behaved in a small tightly controlled police state(Spore), what’s more for the remaining less educated 97% India people living in huge India!

  2. They just controlled it better. Dr Reddybis a respected physician but he has no knowledge of clinical medicine for 30 years or more. His comments are of no consequence. We just talked, put lockdowns, fudged data, had idiots like VK PAUL and BALRAM BHARGAVA run our Covid campaign and hoped that it would go away

  3. I totally agree with the comments of Dr Reddy & is a accurate analysis of the Chinese origin pandemic.You are right,the Chinese are holding back some information which they should announce & help humanity.By keeping quiet China will be remembered for generations to come as a nation lacking any human sense.

  4. I live in Beijing and have seen the living from very close in China . There is no secret of controlling . It’s simple governance and commitment of people and their trust in what their Govt says on what’s good for them . No arguments on Masks, Social distancing and basic precautions. Almost voluntary lock down or lathi wielding policemen and implementation of public health control of contact tracing and testing and treatment . Really . Its just implementation on massive scale and execution of policies .

  5. Prathap Reddy had a point. The order of nations in terms of population is – China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia – all of them have had widespread virus infection in all nook and cranny of their countries – except China. The virus originated there and we know they were trying to desperately cover up the outbreak – so how did it not spread more widely in China? Even now in India when lockdown was lifted, virus infection shot up – again nothing of that sort seems to affect China. Inexplicable unless the Chinese know something which they are not revealing to the rest of the world.

    • Dont expect CCP goons to act good
      Commies are worst killers of mankind
      They have killed more than 100 million people so far
      And counting

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