Bill Gates: Countries that shut down for coronavirus could bounce back in weeks

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Wednesday urged people to remain calm in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an Ask Me Anything session on the discussion forum Reddit, Gates was asked about how long “this” will last.

“If a country does a good job with testing and ‘shut down’ then within 6-10 weeks they should see very few cases and be able to open back up,” he responded.

Gates has been focused on health for many years as part of his work at the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The comments come days after Gates said he was leaving the boards of Microsoft, which he co-founded in 1975, and Berkshire Hathaway. He said he wanted to focus more on philanthropy.

“The current phase has a lot of the cases in rich countries. With the right actions including the testing and social distancing (which I call ‘shut down’) within 2-3 months the rich countries should have avoided high levels of infection,” Gates wrote. “I worry about all the economic damage but even worse will be how this will affect the developing countries who cannot do the social distancing the same way as rich countries and whose hospital capacity is much lower.”

He said people should remain calm despite the circumstances, in response to a question about what Americans can do to help other others in the country.

Gates has answered people’s questions on Reddit several times before. Last year, after a person asked him to identify the top threat of humanity, he pointed to major unlikely incidents, including a pandemic.


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