WHO warns of “immediate second peak” where coronavirus in decline

The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that countries in which coronavirus appears to be in retreat could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak.

Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies head told an online briefing that, while cases were declining in many countries, they were still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia, and Africa.

There was a chance infection rates could rise again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon, he warns.

“We need to be cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time,” he said.

“We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now it is going to keep going down and we are get a number of months to get ready for a second wave. We may get a second peak in this wave,” Ryan said.

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.”

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