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‘If it can hit me, it can hit anyone’: ‘Contagion’ movie’s medical adviser Dr Ian Lipkin on contracting Wuhan Coronavirus

Dr Ian Lipkin has asked for harmonising of the efforts across the United States in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

As it spreads its insidious claws around the world, the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus has indiscriminately struck both the celebrities and the ordinary folks alike. It has affected Hollywood actor Tom Hanks, British Royal Prince of Wales, Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, British actor Idris Elba and a host of other celebrities. Now, Dr Ian Lipkin, renowned virologist and the medical adviser of the ominously prophetic movie ‘Contagion’ has also tested positive for the Covid-19 that has brought the world to a screeching halt.

Lipkin, who advised director Steven Soderbergh on the prescient 2011 movie revealed his condition after discussing the coronavirus pandemic at Fox’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Tuesday.

A few minutes into the show, Lipkin made the explosive revelation that he too is suffering from Covid-19. “I would like to say on this show tonight, this has become very personal to me, too. Because I have COVID as of yesterday. It’s miserable,” said Lipkin, the director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, adding, “If it can hit me, it can hit anybody. That’s the message I want to convey.”

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Declining to provide the details from whom or where he may have contracted the disease, Lipkin said that it did not matter from where he might have acquired the disease as the virus is all over the United States.

Regarding the strategy that could best contain the spread of the virus, Lipkin said that he thinks isolation and confinement are the best tools that should be used to limit the transmission of the disease.

Lipkin also raised alarms with regards to American President Donald Trump’s declaration about the country relaxing its lockdown restrictions by Easter weekend, April 11. “We have no idea when this is going to be under control,” said Lipkin while calling for harmonizing of restrictions across the country. “Our borders between states and cities are porous, and unless we’re consistent, we’re not gonna get ahead of this thing,” he added.

In 2011, Lipkin had claimed that he was persuaded to work with Soderbergh as he felt the movie was a sincere effort to accurately represent the science along with educating and entertaining people. Some of the scenes in the movie ‘Contagion’ reflect Lipkin’s own real-world experiences when he was in Beijing assisting the World Health Organization and the Chinese Health Ministry during the SARS outbreak in 2003. He became ill and was quarantined when he had returned to the US.

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