COVID-19 is going to be one big wave: WHO
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jul 29, 2020, 12:36 pm
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday issued a statement in regard to the coronavirus pandemic labelling it as "one big wave" while warning nations, especially in the Northern hemisphere against complacency considering the infection does not follow the pattern as similar to influenza, which occurs seasonally. As the virus has been behaving in ways beyond human control since its outbreak in China towards the end of last year, WHO officials have been repeatedly put to test to avoid its resurgence after it occured in waves in Hong Kong, despite concerted action to slow its spread being proven.
Speaking during a virtual briefing in Geneva, WHO's Margaret Harris said, "We are in the first wave. It’s going to be one big wave. It’s going to go up and down a bit. The best thing is to flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet,". Pointing to the huge number of cases in the US, she appealed to the people to follow the measures and protocols being advised by the WHO and governments while also warning against mass gatherings. She said, "People are still thinking about seasons. What we all need to get our heads around is this is a new virus and…this one is behaving differently,", while also stating that, "Summer is a problem. This virus likes all weather.”
Margaret Harris expressed her concern regarding the seasonal influenza coinciding with COVID-19 during the southern hemisphere’s winter, and added that the situation was being closely-monitored by the WHO. She added that a high number of flu cases have not been seen in the laboratory samples that were collected so far, suggesting a later-than-normal start to the season. "If you have an increase in respiratory illness when you already have a very high burden of respiratory illness, that puts even more pressure on the health system," she said, while appealing to the people to get themselves vaccinated against the flu.
Earlier this Monday, the World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the coronavirus pandemic "continues to accelerate", with a doubling of cases over the last six weeks. The WHO chief stated that nearly 16 million coronavirus cases have been reported so far to the UN health agency from around the world, with over 640,000 deaths linked to the disease.