DR DOUG QUARRY
MBBS MSc (Community Health)
In a Press Conference, Dr. Mike Ryan, the Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, today clarified the difference between pandemic “second waves” and “second peaks in the first wave.”
Dr. Ryan explained that epidemics often come in waves separated by months or a year. However, he emphasized that just because case numbers are currently going down in many countries, this is due to “pressure that we have put on the virus” from severe public health interventions; this is not the natural course of the disease. He said numbers will not necessarily continue to go down giving us months to prepare for a second wave; instead, if we “ease pressure on the virus” we could get a second immediate peak in this first wave.
Dr Ryan emphasised that countries with declining cases should continue to develop the public health and social measures, the surveillance measures, the testing measures and a comprehensive strategy to maintain pressure on the virus.