He said in South Korea, confirmed cases are still being reported daily, though, in recent weeks, new cases per day have inched below 200, suggesting the outbreak is slowing. The "real" situation, Levitt said was not as "terrible as they make it out to be".
Levitt, who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry, earlier predicted about the epidemic in China that it would get through the worst of its devastating outbreak before several other health experts predicted.
Levitt acknowledges that his figures are messy, and that the official case counts in many areas are too low because testing is spotty. He analyzed and calculated the number of deaths being reported daily in China, studied the pattern and made his informed conjecture. In fact, Levitt said he is for taking strong measures to fight the outbreak and believes that social distancing is a "critical" tool.But it doesn't pay to panicOn the whole, Levitt feels there is unnecessary panic due to an nearly exclusive focus on the galloping number of cases.
Levitt, who received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing multi-scale models for models for complex chemical systems, foresees a similar outcome not only in the USA but in rest of the world. Further, he predicted that the number of confirmed cases in China would hit about 80,000.
"The number of new infections started to drop linearly and did not stop", Levitt said. He said, despite the spread of coronavirus peaking in China, the country has been witnessing fewer newly diagnosed patients since March 16.
Lastly, Levitt said that in the grand scheme, "we're going to be fine".
"Numbers are still noisy, but there are clear signs of slowed growth", Levitt said, without offering a concrete date for when the U.S. may see its turning point. "This is not the time to go out drinking with your buddies", he warns. So do data from outbreaks in confined environments, such as the one on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
He also blamed media for causing unnecessary panic which focuses on the increasing trend of infections and spotlighting infected celebrities, the virus can grow exponentially, he said, only when undetected, unreported and none is acting to control it, Levitt said.
Levitt said that overreaction could trigger another crisis, with lost jobs and hopelessness around.
In addition, he says that the anti-vaccination mentality of Italy was perhaps one of the strong reasons why the virus spread so rapidly in Italy.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Levitt began looking at the numbers of COVID-19 cases around the world back in January and saw that China had 46 new deaths on Jan. 31, which was slightly higher compared to the 42 deaths the day before.