Coronavirus News Asia

China risks a Covid-19 second wave

A second deadly wave of Covid-19 could crash over China like a tsunami.

As the disease goes global and the epidemic epicenter switches to Europe, Imperial College London has warned in a report of the dangers of phase two.

Already the outbreak has been described as “the most serious” public health threat “since the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic,” which infected one-third of the planet’s population or an estimated 500 million people. The death toll eventually soared to 50 million worldwide.

“In the United Kingdom and the United States, suppression will minimally require a combination of social distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family members. This may need to be supplemented by school and university closures,” the study released earlier this week by the Imperial College Covid-19 response team stated.

“The major challenge of suppression is that this type of intensive intervention package will need to be maintained until a vaccine becomes available [which could] potentially [be] 18 months or more – given that we predict that transmission will quickly rebound if interventions are relaxed,” it said. 

“While experience in China and now South Korea show that suppression is possible in the short term, it remains to be seen whether it is possible long-term and whether the social and economic costs of the interventions adopted thus far can be reduced,” the report added.

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