COVID-19: Will There Be a Second Wave? By Akunna Igbokwe
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the World in no small measures and there have been fears of its second wave hitting the globe just like other epidemics the World had witnessed.
Apart from the number of deaths recorded globally from COVID-19, the significant economic impact of the virus on financial markets and vulnerable industries such as manufacturing, tourism, hospitality and travel have been mind-boggling hence the fears of how the World will contain the imminent second wave.
As explained by medical experts, there have been several global epidemics and they tend to have their uncommon characteristics. A good example is the Spanish flu of 1918. The first wave occurred in the spring and was generally mild. The sick experienced mild flu-like symptoms and recovered after several days and the number of reported deaths was low. However, there was a second, highly contagious and deadly wave in the fall of that same year which claimed an estimated 20 to 50 million lives.
Ever heard of the Black Death? Also known as pestilence and the plague, it was the worst pandemic recorded in human history. The Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague, a disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The infection takes three to five days to incubate in people before they fall ill. In 80 per cent of the cases, the victims die. The plague never really ended and it returned with a vengeance years later. This plague resulted in the death of up to 75 – 200 million people. According to WHO, there are still 1,000 to 3,000 cases of the plague every year.
The efforts being made to contain the coronavirus have been somewhat effective in flattening the curve but there’s no certainty that this is effective enough to get rid of the virus. Without herd immunity against COVID-19, cases could easily resurge as businesses, factory operations and schools gradually resume and increased social mixing.
Currently, in South Korea, 163 people who recovered from Coronavirus have retested positive, the same concerns have been recorded in China and this has been a source of concern the global health body.
Already, several states in America have started protesting against any further lockdown insisting that they need to reopen their businesses.
Unemployment has skyrocketed and a whooping 22million people are jobless. Many are violating the stay at home order that restricts more than ten people to be gathered saying that the orders are a form of taking away their rights, others disregarded the guidelines that require everyone having a face mask on. With this mass disobedience, there can be serious repercussions which form the beliefs of a possible second wave.
According to the CDC chief who in an interview said that there could be a second possibly worse corona outbreak this winter. He stated that the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time is a dual assault on the health care system. According to the world health organization, the flu kills approximately 290,000-650,000 yearly. This is dependent on the specific strain of the virus that is dominant.
Concerns are also rising in China as Chinese president Xi Jinping has warned against a risk of a second wave of infections in the country as the pandemic continues to spread.
Experts have also warned that if there’s one thing the World ought to learn from previous pandemics, it is that they usually have second waves that tend to be worse than the first and although these are just speculation/possibilities they should be taken seriously.
It is always better to be safe than sorry after all. That been said, is Nigeria prepared? Is the country taking measures to ensure that if at all there’s a second wave, it would not be caught off guard?