Edition: International | Greek
MENU

Home » Analyses

‘Not if but when’: European health boss warns of virus second wave

The head of a European health advisory body on infections on Thursday (21 May) warned of a second wave of coronavirus cases, as countries across the continent ease tough lockdown measures

By: EBR - Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020

“I don’t want to draw a doomsday picture but I think we have to be realistic. That it’s not the time now to completely relax.”
“I don’t want to draw a doomsday picture but I think we have to be realistic. That it’s not the time now to completely relax.”

Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said it was not a question of if there will be a renewed surge but “when and how big”.

She told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that immunity statistics from around Europe were not encouraging and “85% to 90%” of people were still susceptible to COVID-19.

“The virus is around us, circulating much more than January or February,” she was quoted as saying in an interview.

“I don’t want to draw a doomsday picture but I think we have to be realistic. That it’s not the time now to completely relax.”

Europe has seen more than 170,000 deaths in the global pandemic, according to an AFP tally to 1230 GMT Thursday. Most have been in Britain, Italy, Spain and France.

But stay-at-home restrictions put in place to cut the spread of the virus have begun to be lifted, given indications the number of cases had passed its peak.

The ECDC, based in Sweden, advises governments on infectious disease control in the 27 countries of the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and the United Kingdom.

Ammon said lockdown restrictions have caused “strain”, hitting business and people unused to having their freedoms curtailed.

But she said the risk of a second wave was increased because “people think it’s over, which it isn’t… it definitely isn’t”, despite the fall in infections.

She said governments underestimated the speed of the spread of COVID-19, and pinpointed the return of holidaymakers from Alpine skiing trips in early March as a pivotal moment.

“I’m pretty sure that this contributed to the wide spread of in Europe,” she added, and it “might have been possible” to slow the spread had governments imposed lockdowns earlier.

Ammon said she was not optimistic the virus would disappear quickly. “It seems to be very well adapted to humans,” she added.

*first published in: www.euractiv.com

READ ALSO

EU Actually

EU – China Summit : Merkel – Von der Leyen – Michel vs Xi

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

September 14. While the initial summit lost its official in-person character due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 3 EU leaders and the Chinese leader attended a virtual meeting via videoconference

View 01/2020 2020 Digital edition

Magazine

Current Issue

01/2020 2020

View past issues
Subscribe
Advertise
Digital edition

Europe

’Khmers verts’

’Khmers verts’

Elected in June, the new ‘ecologist’ mayors in France are trying to put their stamp on the daily life of their communes

Business

3 questions for leaders using tech to make the world a better place

3 questions for leaders using tech to make the world a better place

We’re currently tackling the biggest global public health crisis in a century. We will need to act decisively and rapidly if we are to address this crisis head on and rebuild and reconfigure our economies and societies for a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future

MARKET INDICES

Powered by Investing.com
All contents © Copyright EMG Strategic Consulting Ltd. 1997-2020. All Rights Reserved   |   Home Page  |   Disclaimer  |   Website by Theratron