World Health Organization warns coronavirus pandemic appears to be unfolding in ‘one big wave’
The World Health Organization said coronavirus does not appear to be affected by seasonal changes like the common cold or flu, warning the pandemic appears to be unfolding in “one big wave” as several nations worldwide struggle with a spikes in cases despite the warm summer months.
WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris during a virtual briefing in Geneva on Tuesday said discussing the pandemic in terms of “waves” is detrimental and urged citizen to continue embracing social distancing and mask protocols.
“People are still thinking about seasons. What we all need to get our heads around is this is a new virus,” she said, according to a Reuters report.
“It’s going to be one big wave. It’s going to go up and down a bit,” Harris added. “The best thing is to flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet.”
The comments stand in contrast to initial predictions from medical experts, who initially speculated that the spread of the virus would slow in the summer and then re-emerge in the fall. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, warned early in the pandemic that even if infection rates waned, a second wave was likely to come as the weather cooled.
But several states across the U.S., particularly in the South, have seen a resurgence in cases since scaling back coronavirus restrictions. The trend is mirrored in nations worldwide that have opted to reopen since the start of the pandemic.
While spikes in cases appear to be isolated and in only a few places, from a global perspective, the pandemic appears to be a single outbreak, that continues to infect at an accelerated rate, Harris emphasized.
Worldwide numbers have doubled in the past six weeks alone.
“Summer is a problem,” Harris said. “This virus likes all weather.”
As of Wednesday, more than 16 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with coronavirus, including 660,978 who have died, according to the most recent data from Johns Hopkins University.