Is the second wave of the Coronavirus already upon us

FILE PHOTO (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

FILE PHOTO (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Published Jun 22, 2020


DURBAN - Health experts have been warning of a possible second wave of the Coronavirus for months. As Coronavirus cases top 8 million globally and new cases surge across the country and around the world, some doctors and scientists say the second wave is already upon us.

But Dr Jeremy Rossman, a senior lecturer in virology at Britain's University of Kent says that the concept of a second wave is flawed and creates dangerous misconceptions about the pandemic.

“The concept of a second wave implies that it is something inevitable, something intrinsic to how the virus behaves. It goes away for a bit, then comes back with a vengeance. But this idea fails to take into account the importance of ongoing preventative actions and portrays us as helpless and at the whim of this pathogen,” said Rossman.

Although it’s not a scientific term with well-defined parameters, a 'second wave' is rather used to refer to a subsequent, serious increase in cases that occurs after the original surge has been quashed in a given area. 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.

Most public health experts including Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease have said they anticipate a big uptick

A new outbreak of the Coronavirus in China has sent ripples of fear through the world because of a second wave of infections, especially in countries that have had some success in controlling the pandemic and are moving ahead to reopen their battered economies.

Several Asian countries that have eased restrictions and resumed some level of economic activity, including Australia, Japan and South Korea, have in the last month reported new outbreaks numbering in the tens to a few dozens.

Meanwhile, the rand weakened early on Monday, reflecting the gloom in global markets as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections around the world increased investor jitters ahead of a local emergency budget later this week.

“The second wave is becoming a theme for markets. The increase in states such as Florida and South Carolina is big enough to be labelled as a second wave,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.

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