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Friday, August 14, 2020

Faculty & Staff

‘It’s hard to say’ when coronavirus pandemic will be contained, UH-Downtown professor says


UHD associate professor Peter Li said strong government response is needed to take on the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over 900 in the Houston area. | Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

UHD associate professor Peter Li said strong government response is needed to take on the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over 900 in the Houston area. | Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For one UH-Downtown associate professor, there is no clear timeline for the end of coronavirus outbreak that has infected 740,000 worldwide, including over 140,000 in the United States and over 900 in the Houston area as of Saturday.

Peter Li, an associate professor at UH-Downtown and Chinese policy expert, told the Indian English-language news magazine, India Today, there is uncertainty clouding the timeline, adding no one should wait for warmer weather to quell the spread of the virus.

“It’s hard to say when the pandemic will be contained,” he told the outlet in a video released Thursday. “Of course, we can’t wait for the weather to help us.”

Instead, Li, who also specializes in U.S. foreign policy and East Asian politics, suggested sturdy responses from heads of government is key to keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control.

“It’s important to have a national mobilization, to have strong leadership from the government, and, of course, to impose travel restrictions and social distancing,” he said. “These are all important.”

As for the UH system, which has at least three confirmed cases with a UHD employee and two UH community members testing positive, Li urges following guidelines set by local officials, including Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s stay-at-home order in effect until April 3.

“For all University of Houston system students, it is important to practice social distancing, avoid all gatherings, and stay home,” Li told The Cougar in an email. “This is protection for ourselves and for helping our medical professionals who are already over-working.”

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