There is grim prediction for the United States as the coronavirus contagion has claimed more than 18,000 lives across the world. President Donald Trump hopes the virus attack will subside soon so that the country returns to economic activity around Easter, but the latest projections prove him wrong.

According to a leading epidemiologist, the pandemic will peak in the US in the next three weeks before it stabilises and makes a downward roll. The model proposed by Ira Longini, a professor at the Center for Statistics and Quantitative Infectious Diseases at the University of Florida, relies on data that shows that cases double in the US every three days now.

Trump
Trump Pixabay

Most of the damage will be done in 3 weeks

"I would guess the US will hit a peak in deaths in the next two-three weeks, as the doubling time seems to be about two-three days, Longini said, according to CNN. Longini is one of the advisers of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He adds that by three weeks, "most of the damage will be done."

As per the latest count, New York City accounts for more than 14,000 positive coronavirus cases. If this number doubles every three days and the contagion takes three weeks to peak, several hundred thousands of people in New York could become infected with the virus.

Coronavirus status as of 24 March, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 24 March, 2020 GISAID

Earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out that coronavirus infections in New York are doubling every three days. The World Health Organisation also warned that the US is emerging as a hotbed of Covid-19 infections. According to the Pentagon, the epidemic could last at least several months before the situation starts to become normal in June or July.

New York to become next Lombardy and Madrid

Trump had expressed hope he would be able to lift the lockdown by mid-April before it destroys the US economy. In much criticised comments, the president added that more people could die due to a depression than the coronavirus itself.

However, health experts are now fretting over the possibility of New York becoming the next Lombardy and Madrid. The death rate in the big apple is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, shifting the focus of the world to the mega city even as the contagion begins to ease off in Europe. On Wednesday, Spain overtook China in terms of fatalities, and is now second only behind Italy, where nearly 7,000 people have died.

NY infection rate 10 greater than in other places

The White House Coronavirus Task Force also raised the alarm for New York, saying whoever that went to the city in recent days must stay at home. According to the head of the National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Disease, 1 out of every 1,000 New York dwellers is now infected with coronavirus. The expert says that this is "eight to 10 times more than other areas."

Meanwhile in the UK, Prince Charles has tested positive for novel coronavirus, Clarence House confirmed in a statement released on Wednesday. The 71-year old royal is displaying mild symptoms, a Clarence House spokesman, Telegraph reported.

"He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual," he said. Prince Charles' wife, Camilla Parker Bowles was also tested for Covid-19. "The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus," the spokesman said.

Prince Charles tests positive

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles
Camilla Parker Bowles with Prince Charles Flickr

Meanwhile in the UK, Prince Charles has tested positive for novel coronavirus, Clarence House confirmed in a statement released on Wednesday. The 71-year old royal is displaying mild symptoms, a Clarence House spokesman said.

"He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual," he said. Prince Charles' wife, Camilla Parker Bowles was also tested for Covid-19. "The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus," the spokesman said.