Will there be a second wave of infections ?
Image Credit: efsa.europa.eu/
Most countries have eased lockdown restrictions, with people flocking to their favourite shops and beaches after months of lockdown that has put life of millions of people to a standstill.
Daily Covid-19 cases have decreased in Europe, but there is a possibility that a second wave of infection might be around the corner. Most countries have decided to ease restrictions slowly in response to the decreased cases, and the impact on the economy.
It is worth noting that the number of cases in Spain, on Sunday 7th June reached an all-time low at only 48 infections. This has nearly doubled the following day at 84 cases, and the day after it reached 167 cases.
Overall, we’re in a favorable situation. Cases are going down, and risk is very low in many regions. However, we are still identifying small, controlled outbreaks in concrete places. And if these outbreaks are not controlled correctly, they could cause a new resurgence,” said Fernando Simon, Spain’s chief epidemiologist.
Currently, the Americas are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus, with the US reaching 2,142,200 cases as of 14th June with 117,500 deaths. Brazil is the second worst hit country in the Americas and the world having 850,000 cases and 42,700 deaths. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned the US is ‘not out of the woods. This was in response to some states opening prematurely. The CDC also warned that protesters might not be maintaining the 6 feet of distance and using face masks as recommended. In a lot of European big cities, thousands of protesters have also crowded together to demonstrate against racism.
But what will happen when most European airports open? Countries have been negotiating the so called ‘travel corridors’ whereby tourists can flow between countries sometimes quarantine-free. In Europe, countries will open completely (to EU people) for travel on 1st July for EU people under the supervision of the European commission. Some countries’ airports have already initiated some flights. Countries have been chosen by:
- Their number of active & recovered cases
- Trend of active and new cases per day
- Number of tests per inhabitants
- Reproduction index (Signifies the number of people that can be infected from one infected person. R<1 is ideal).
- Deaths per inhabitants
- Cases in urban and rural areas.
- Number and size of the airports serving a specific population/area.
Spain will not negotiate a travel corridor with the UK (Reuters), but will accept nearly 11,000 tourists from Germany to visit the Balearic Islands. Even though Spain will officially reopen its borders on 1st July, tourists can visit the Balearic Islands from 2 weeks before.
In Cyprus, tourism travel started on June 9th and will do so in two different phases. In the first phase, which occurred on June 9th, passengers were accepted from Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Norway, Malta, Slovenia, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Germany, Denmark, Lithuania & Slovakia providing they have a health certificate that proves that they are virus-free ( The certificate should not be older than 3 days). On the second phase, which will occur on June 20th, passengers will be accepted from Poland, Romania, Croatia, Switzerland, Estonia and Czech Republic. Passengers will have to provide a health certificate, while those passengers from the first phase no longer have to. Flights to Spain, France, US and Italy remained excluded so far.
Iceland will open its border from tomorrow, June 15th to EU and UK travellers. Tourists will be tested upon arrival. Results will be issued a few hours late on their phones.
Germany will lift border restrictions tomorrow, June 15th, for travellers coming from Switzerland, EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and the UK.
It is not yet known how COVID-19 will be affected by seasonal factors but the likelihood and size of the second wave would depend on social distancing measures and other factors most of them unknown, according to Martin Seychell, a health official at the EU commission told to Reuters. Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza warned that, ‘ A second wave or recrudescence is not certain but possible’.