Europe should brace for second wave of covid-19 this winter
European countries should expect a second wave of covid-19 this winter, the director of the World Health Organisation for Europe, told the Telegraph in an exclusive interview.
Dr Hans Kluge stated that while countries are beginning to loosen lockdown restrictions and the number of cases is falling in Western Europe, this is the ‘time for preparation, not celebration’. The epicentre has shifted eastwards to Russia and the post-Soviet space.
Europe should utilise the oncoming months to build intensive care units and primary care facilities.
“Singapore and Japan understood early on that this is not a time for celebration, it’s a time for preparation. That’s what Scandinavian countries are doing – they don’t exclude a second wave, but they hope it will be localised and they can jump on it quickly,” said Dr Kluge.
Kluge also raised concerns about the possibility that this would coincide with other infections such as seasonal flu or measles.
A number of experts such as Professor Chris Whitty have predicted that the second wave could be deadlier than the first. Drawing upon the example of the Spanish flu pandemic, they note that the second wave of that illness was significantly higher than the first.
Spain has allowed its citizens to start exercising outside again. Restaurants in Germany have reopened their doors and France has allowed people to exit their houses without permits. Russia has allowed a large number of industries to resume operations.