By TOI STAFF
A leading Israeli virologist on Sunday urged world leaders to calm their citizens about the coronavirus pandemic, saying people were being whipped into unnecessary panic.
Prof. Jihad Bishara, the director of the Infectious Disease Unit at Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital, said that some of the steps being taken in Israel and abroad were very important, but the virus is not airborne, most people who are infected will recover without even knowing they were sick, the at-risk groups are now known, and the global panic is unnecessary and exaggerated.
“I’ve been in this business for 30 years,” Bishara said in a Channel 12 interview. “I’ve been through MERS, SARS, Ebola, the first Gulf war and the second, and I don’t recall anything like this. There’s unnecessary, exaggerated panic. We have to calm people down.
“People are thinking that there’s a kind of virus, it’s in the air, it’s going to attack every one of us, and whoever is attacked is going to die,” he said.
“That’s not the way it is at all. It’s not in the air. Not everyone [who is infected] dies; most of them will get better and won’t even know they were sick, or will have a bit of mucus.”
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