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Covid-19: As countries relax lockdown rules, WHO warns against a phase 2

Updated on:26 May 2020, 11:22am IST
According to the Ministry of Health, there are 80,722 active covid-19 cases in India today. And according to the WHO this number can rise significantly if lockdown rules are relaxed
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Now that the lockdown is slowly opening up, a lot of us might actually crave its riveledges in the post-lockdown world. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

There are many countries in the world like South Korea and China that are experiencing a decline in the cases of covid-19. As SARS-CoV-2 becomes lesser of a threat in these countries, life is going back to normal. 

Not just our Asian brothers and sisters, India too has been seeing a lot of relaxation in lockdown rules. Offices are being re-opened, markets are functioning, and even flights are starting again. There is no doubt that appropriate guidelines have also been issued, but still: the worst is not over yet.

In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning countries with declining cases and lax rules that a second wave of covid-19 is coming.  

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The WHO is giving you stringent heads up against covid-19 phase two. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

This is what the WHO has to say…
The WHO says that there are many countries in the world that are showing a major fall in the number of covid-19 cases but still the threat is not over. Rather, the WHO is warning these countries about an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak.

According to the organization, this is the first phase of covid-19.  “When we speak about a second wave classically what we often mean is there will be a first wave of the disease by itself, and then it recurs months later. And that may be a reality for many countries in a number of months’ time,” said WHO emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan in an online briefing. 

“But we need also to be cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time. We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now it is going to keep going down and we are getting a number of months to get ready for a second wave. We may get a second peak in this wave,” he added. 

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He said countries in Europe and North America should “continue to put in place the public health and social measures, the surveillance measures, the testing measures and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don’t have an immediate second peak.”

India is already witnessing a spike in the number of covid-19 cases after relaxing lockdown rules
We have been a spectator of the rising cases in India especially after the lockdown was relaxed. Mumbai has become a hotspot of covid-19 in India, whereas Delhi is also not very far behind. According to a report published in the Hindustan Times, in the last 15 days 70,000 more cases of covid-19 have been reported in India. 

And on Monday 7,000 new cases were reported which takes the overall tally to 1,38,845. This number is staggering and scary enough to make us all realise that lifting bans and removing measures can take a country like India in a bigger soup. 

(With inputs from Reuters)

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