While the measures taken in countries where Corona virus cases are decreasing worldwide and economic activities are starting to revive, World Health Organization (WHO) emergency director Mike Ryan warned that a sudden second wave may occur in countries where the number of cases is decreasing.
“The world is still in the midst of the first wave in the Corona virus outbreak,” said Ryan, recalling that the declining number of cases in many countries is rising in Central and South America, and in South Asia and Africa.
Saying that the outbreaks usually came in waves, Ryan warned that this meant that the Corona virus outbreak could return this year where the first wave eased. Ryan noted that if the measures taken against the first wave were alleviated too quickly, the increase in the case could be faster than before.
“When we talk about a second wave as a classic, we are talking about the outbreak itself spreading in a wave and then reappearing months later. This may be a reality for many countries in the coming months. ”
Ryan said, “ By looking at the slowdown of the epidemic, we cannot deduce that the slowdown will continue. We must be prepared for a second wave that may happen in the coming months, ”he added.
Countries should prepare comprehensive strategy
Ryan pointed out that in order to avoid a second increase in cases rapidly in Europe and North America, a comprehensive strategy should be prepared by these countries to ensure that the number of cases continues to decrease by making public health plans, social distance, follow-up and testing measures.
In many European countries and the US, states have begun to alleviate the harsh measures taken in recent weeks due to the Corona virus outbreak, to end the coup dealing with economies after a reduction in the number of cases.
In Italy, Spain and the UK, which are leaders in cases and deaths in Europe, as well as in France and Germany, governments have announced plans for the resumption of social life, economic activities and schools.
In the U.S., prior to the elections on November 22, President Donald Trump is putting pressure on states to start activities so that the economy does not have any further difficulties.
With the opening of beaches, restaurants and outdoor venues in many states across the country, many people flocked there. Due to the official holiday on May 25, which is the National Memorial Day in the country, traffic intensity on the motorways also increased at the weekend. A vehicle queue of up to 20 kilometers long has formed on a highway in the state of Arizona. Authorities had to close some parks due to overfilling. Restaurants that accept a limited number of customers also filled their capacities. These landscapes also raise anxieties for “second wave”.
Lessons from the 1918 epidemic
The global flu epidemic in 1918 is one of the epidemics that caused the most casualties so far. In this respect, the measures taken and methods used in that period are compared with those in the Corona virus epidemic.
According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu epidemic in 1918 killed about 50 million people worldwide. In the USA, more than 500 thousand people died.
According to the Washington Post newspaper, J. Alexander Navarro of the University of Michigan Medical History Center, social distance measures such as the closure of schools during the outbreak of 1918, the banning of crowded activities and the necessity of wearing a mask had a positive outcome in controlling the outbreak. In these cities, with the loss of life and the increase in the number of cases, the speed of the disease spread more slowly.
However, according to Navarro, organizing collective activities in some cities at the end of the First World War with the mitigation of the measures caused sudden increases in the loss of cases and lives. For example, the Liberty Loan parade, held at the end of September to support the government’s lending to meet the needs of the clergy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, killed 1,000 people within 10 days.
Navarro noted that the events in Denver, Colorado, to celebrate the end of the war in November have had a similar outcome and a significant increase in the number of dead.
Authorities are concerned that the start of social and economic activities has caused an increase in the number of deaths and cases. Finally, the White House Corona Virus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx warned of paying attention to social distance rules during the long weekend break, including Monday, as part of the National Memorial Day. Birx said that those who have undergone the disease without showing symptoms will inadvertently infect the virus.
Health experts say the loss of life in the U.S. can exceed 140,000 by early August.