WHO warns of possible Covid-19 second peak

A second peak of Covid-19 is possible in the very near future in countries where infections are declining if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organisation warned on Monday. The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan said, adding that cases are still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa.

According to Ryan, epidemics often come in waves. "When we speak about a second wave classically what we often mean is there will be a first wave of the disease by itself, and then it recurs months later. And that may be a reality for many countries in a number of months' time," he pointed out. "But we need also to be aware of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time. We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now it is going to keep going down."

He said countries in Europe and North America should "continue to put in place the public health and social measures, the surveillance measures, the testing measures and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don't have an immediate second peak."

Many European countries and US states have taken steps in recent weeks to lift lockdown measures that curbed the spread of the disease but caused severe harm to economies.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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