After initial success, Japan and Singapore struggle with the second wave of coronavirus infections. Both countries had been praised for their initial efforts.
Wuhan, China – The city’s 11 million residents are attempting to return to normal life and business after a 76-day lockdown as the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus. But, its resident said “a second wave is ‘absolutely’ coming“. CNN reported.
They did almost everything right and were praised for it even by the World Health Organization (WHO), highlighting their approach to controlling the coronavirus outbreak. But they might have let their guard down far too soon.
How about Vietnam?
In Vietnam, as of Friday morning, there have been no new cases of COVID-19 recorded for the eighth day in a row. Government has agreed a day earlier to relax social distancing measures in the nation’s two biggest cities, HCMC and Hanoi, fueling hopes that the economy hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic would recover in coming months
But, over the past few days, thousands of Vietnamese are returning home and hundreds of foreign experts back to work from coronavirus hard hit countries, such as China, Japan, Italy, South Korea…
As a result, Vietnam just reported two new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 270. The two cases were Vietnamese students who flew from Japan and arrived at Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh Province on April 22.
Why a second wave of Covid-19 is already a worry?
The concern is that, once quelled, the pandemic will resurface with renewed strength, causing a repeat of rising infections, swamped health systems and the necessity of lockdowns. Bloomberg reported.
As authorities the world over consider when to lift economy-crippling movement restrictions aimed at curbing coronavirus infections, the fear on everyone’s minds can be expressed in two words: second wave. The concern is that, once quelled, the pandemic will resurface with renewed strength, causing a repeat of rising infections, swamped health systems and the necessity of lockdowns.
Pandemics are caused by new pathogens that the vast majority of humans have no immune protection against. That’s what allows them to become global outbreaks. Pandemics are uncommon, but influenza is one of the more frequent causes. What often happens is that a novel variant of flu virus spreads around the world and then recedes, kind of like a tsunami. A few months later, it comes back and spreads around the world, or large parts of it, again.
Influenza pandemics can be temporarily beaten back by weather, moving to the southern hemisphere when the northern half of the globe heats up during summer, and vice versa. The virus may also have infected a huge portion of people in most areas, giving them immunity from re-infection and possibly creating so-called herd immunity, which protects those who haven’t been infected by curtailing the virus’s circulation. In the case of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, countries around the world have invoked movement restrictions on an unprecedented scale and people have voluntarily adopted social distancing measures which together keep people far enough apart that the virus can’t easily spread.
There are a number of possibilities. In the case of influenza, there’s the onset of cool weather, a factor that may affect the coronavirus, too. Or the pathogen can mutate. This is another feature of flu, which mutates more or less constantly. In the fall of 1918, a second wave of the historic influenza outbreak occurred and caused most of the deaths in the pandemic. Some researchers believe it was brought about by a mutation that made the virus again unrecognizable to most people’s immune systems. Another important variable is the movement of the virus to populations that haven’t been exposed before and don’t have immunity.
There have been hints from China that a second wave is a risk. Some areas of the country that were shut down by the virus and then reopened had restrictions reimposed in March because of new cases. Much of the rest of the world is still struggling to get the current wave under control. Most areas that have contained the virus have done so using movement restrictions, which slow the virus’s spread but leave many people vulnerable to infection once they begin to venture out again, raising the prospect of second waves.
The World Health Organization has recommended lifting movement restrictions in stages to test the effect of each before moving to greater openness. In any case, experts say, the key to keeping infections low without locking down everyone is to scale up testing and contact tracing. Health authorities need to find infected people, isolate them, and identify their recent contacts, so they can be tested as well and isolated if necessary. Eventually, it’s possible that enough people will become exposed to the coronavirus that herd immunity will develop and it will stop spreading, or that a vaccine against it will be licensed.
Compiled by Vietnam Insider/ Bloomberg