Second wave of coronavirus is near, end of pandemic is not

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 16, 2020, 09.30 PM(IST) Edited By: Gravitas desk

A person walking in front of a graffiti depicting inequality during coronavirus pandemic in Paris Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

As the restrictions were lifted worldwide, more people were infected by the coronavirus and the cases began to rise

Hospital's Intensive Care Units (ICU) are filling up again, the lockdowns are back and new infections are breaking records.

The worst of this oandemic, it seems, is not over yet. Right now, the world has four active hotspots. The United States is reporting a massive surge from 30,000- 35,000 new cases in early September, America is now averaging 50,000 new cases daily. In one week, the US reported more than 350,000 cases. Those numbers were recorded from Ocotber 08-14.

Second is India with the world's second highest number of cases. While there has been a drop in the number of daily infections, we are far from containing the virus.

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In Europe, dozens of cities have been forced to go into a lockdown again because the continent is reporting more daily infections that the three worst hit countries — the United States, India and Brazil. Over the past week, Europe has recorded more than 100 thousand new infections every day.

In Russia too the coronavirus is far from contained. More than 15,000 infections were recorded in the past 24 hours alone; it's a new record for Russia.

This is the second wave of the novel coronavirus. We may have learned to live with the virus but that hasn't slowed it down.

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As the restrictions were lifted worldwide, more people were infected and the cases began to rise.

As a result, the entire continent suppressed the first wave of infections and re-opened cities. Now the European governments are battling the worst outbreak since April and France is among the worst hit. It has declared a state of health emergency.

The United Kingdom is imposing restrictions in hard hit regions such as Liverpool where the people were just not ready to accept the latest round of curbs. So, they took over the streets and partied right before the restrictions kicked in.

Similar scenes played out in Glasgow and the Hague, in the Netherlands too. The images from the streets left the authorities and health experts horrified. They face a real struggle in containing the pandemic.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning for Europe that if the restrictions are relaxed the daily mortality rates could go up by four to five times. Experts say the changing weather is contributing to the surge.

The Regional Director for Europe at the WHO, Dr. Hans Kluge said, "The fall/winter surge continues to unfold in europe with exponential increases in daily cases and matching percentage increases in daily deaths. The evolving epidemiological situation in Europe raises great concern: daily numbers of cases are up, hospital admissions are up and covid is now the fifth leading cause of deaths and the bar of a 1,000 deaths per day has now been reached."

The situation is not just worsening in Eruope. The virus is surging again and the authorities around the world are running out of options. More and more countries are imposing another round of lockdowns and tougher restrictions because we don't have a vaccine or an effective treatment yet, even after ten months of the outbreak.

The second major threat is that of re-infections, which means those recovered from the virus may be infected again. Such cases are rare right now, but scientists have found that immunity to this virus fades.

The US President Donald Trump should take note because he has been going around calling himself immune and threatening to kiss people.

A case from Nevada of a 25-year-old is worth mentioning here who was infected twice and in both instances he showed symptoms. India too has three suspected cases of re-infection. Indian authorities have now decided to consider 100 days as the cut-off period for a re-infection.

So, we have no vaccine or treatment for the deadly vius yet, and some believe that it may never go away like the flu or cold, but much deadlier.

 

The pandemic can end, if we take notes from history. Pandemics of the past ended, when enough people developed immunity to a disease either through herd immunity or through a vaccine.

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