tech2 News StaffMay 22, 2020 16:36:16 IST
Europe should prepare itself for a second wave of coronavirus infection says Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), in an interview with The Guardian.
However, the questions that now need to be asked about the second wave are – When? And how big?
This should not come as a surprise as scientists have been cautioning us about a second and a possible third wave that will erupt once lockdowns have been lifted all over the world. With no vaccine or treatment insight, protecting ourselves from the virus seems questionable. We also cannot stay in our homes forever and the idea of social distancing and wearing a mask each time we go out seems more and more like our new normal, at least for the next couple of years.
She said, “Looking at what now emerges from the different countries in terms of population immunity – which isn’t all that exciting, between two percent and 14 percent, that leaves still 85 percent to 90 percent of the population susceptible – the virus is around us, circulating much more than January and February … I don’t want to draw a doomsday picture but I think we have to be realistic. That it’s not the time now to completely relax.”
China, the country where the virus originated from, is already seeing new eruptions, weeks after they lifted the lockdown. New reports are finding that the virus is mutating to be more difficult to test, with longer incubation periods and not having the usual symptoms of fevers and coughs.
Germany has seen a rise in infection rates from 0.65 to 1.13. An infection rate is typically used to measure the frequency of occurrence of new cases of infection within a defined population during a specified time frame.
(Also read: UK's COVID-19 tracking system under fire amid warning of a second wave of Coronavirus outbreak)
South Korea has warned of a second wave as a new cluster has formed around night clubs which have now been shut down in its capital Seoul.
These new cases are due to people finally coming out of their country sanctioned months-long lockdown. After being cooped up in their houses, having the freedom to move around, albeit restrictively.
Ammon agrees as well. The strain of staying at home, not being able to do what we want, when we want and how we want it, can be hard.
But we need to remember we are still in the throes of a pandemic, even if we are getting some of our freedom back. We yet do not know for how long the virus plans on sticking around. She said, "It seems to be very well adapted to humans.”
It is my opinion that this is a feasible scenario.
Nobody is claiming to know what will happen for sure - I believe in an unknown situation this is a possibility.
We need to continue to keep our distance and hope the numbers continue to improve.
— Professor Karol Sikora (@ProfKarolSikora) May 16, 2020
However, there are some experts that believe the virus will go away on its own. Professor Karol Sikora, who is an oncologist serving as a chief medical officer at Rutherford Health and was the former director of the World Health Organisation, tweeted saying "There is a real chance that the virus will burn out naturally before any vaccine is developed." However, he did add that it is still important to slow the spread of the virus.
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