A 2014 video clip about a panel of virologists warning about a possible influenza pandemic originating from Asia resurfaced online, prompting social media users to say that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was predicted years ago.
The panel of virologists – featured on an Australian show 'Insight' on SBS television channel – spoke about how a virus attacking respiratory organs would trigger a pandemic that would force people to follow social distancing.
World Health Organisation Professor Anne Kelso said that the virus would most likely be originated in China.
"If we're talking about a new avian influenza then the most likely thing is it'll come from somewhere in Asia," Kelso said in the September 2014 show. "There are very high densities of bird populations living closely to humans, mixing with other animals which can also be infected with flu viruses like pigs."
Kelso noted that the viral infection could spread like "wildfire" because it was a respiratory virus. She also stated that China would be the source of the virus. "And so the most likely scenario is that that virus would emerge first in one of the large populations, like China," the professor pointed out.
Dr Jermemy McAnulty, one of the panellist, said people would have to follow social distancing in case of such a pandemic. "Flu is largely spread by droplets, so either direct contact with somebody who's got virus on their hands and then you put it in your face," Dr McAnulty, who was the acting chief health officer in New South Wales at the time, said. "Or somebody coughing, usually within a meter or so of you."
In the video, another virologist stated that making people stay at home in order to curb the pandemic would be "the very last step."
"We can force them to stay quarantined," Dr Rosemary Lester said at the time. "But that's a very last step and almost always people would co-operate with a request for isolation."
After the video was posted on Facebook, netizens were quick to question the preparedness about world governments over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Congratulations. It's almost as if professional virologists and futurists had been warning countries around the globe for decades to prepare for epidemics and pandemics and you just noticed," one Facebook user wrote.
"I wonder how these scientists feel now, especially with people not cooperating and certain pollies and media being so uncooperative," another user stated.
"When educated people - scientists, doctors, medical researchers - talk, perhaps the world should take note and listen," said another Facebook user.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic that is reported to have been originated in Chinese city of Wuhan. It forced billions of people across countries to stay home-bound to control the infection rates. Healthcare experts have stated that people should wear a mask in public in and maintain a distance of six feet from people.
According to WHO, more than 19.16 million confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported worldwide with over 700,000 deaths. The United States is re said to be one of the worst-affected countries.