The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that countries seeing a decline in COVID-19 infections could still face an "immediate second peak" if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak.
During a media briefing yesterday, Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme said that we are right in the middle of the first wave, globally and are still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up. He added that epidemics often come in waves, which means that outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided.
He added that there is also a chance that infection rates could rise once again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon. Ryan warned that a second peak or wave could come during the normal influenza season, "which will greatly complicate things for disease control.
He said that 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.
Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO infectious disease epidemiologist, said that a hallmark of coronaviruses is its ability to amplify in certain settings, its ability to cause transmission - or super spreading events. (AIR)