Europe warned of second waves of COVID-19

People enjoy drinks in Tarragona, Spain
People enjoy drinks in Tarragona, Spain Copyright AP
By Jack Parrock
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As coronavirus lockdowns are eased, the potential for spikes in infections grow.


Countries are starting to ease the lockdown measures and there is fear in Europe of a new wave of infections towards the summer.

Experts warn lower infection rates combined with higher temperatures could lead to complacency among people to respect social distancing and hygiene rules.

Based on studies of previous pandemics, experts say a second wave is likely to occur this time as well.

It's reason enough for Brussels to remind governments of what is at stake.

Stefan de Keersmaecker, a spokesperson for the European Commission, says, "member states should prepare for eventual second waves of infections by taking any opportunity to enhance the existing surveillance systems."

Brussels says it remains committed to working with European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to insure that there is inaugurated risk communication.

De Keersmaecker says, "this is key to ensure that the citizens understand that new waves can occur, even if an initial wave is successfully managed."

EU Member States are called upon to lift the restrictions gradually and carefully, taking into account the epidemiological data available.

Some Members of the European Parliament say that the EU should be given more competence on healthcare in the future.

Jytte Guteland is a Swedish socialist MEP and says, “I think the corona crisis showed cooperation between member states on health policy. I think we need a discussion on having more competence on the EU level to tackle pandemics in the future”.

In Germany, the authorities set a limit of 50 new infections per week per 100,000 inhabitants.

If the number of infections increases, stricter measure are set to be reimposed.

According to the Dr. Klaus Cichutek, president of thePaul-Eh rlich-Institut German research institute, every country should have enough intensive care units ready as well as places in hospitals for those people who suffer from COVID19.

"We have to win time for finding therapies we are doing a lot of scientific work on the side of bio-medicine to decrease the time for vaccine development which is, of course, the public health measure that would help us most in the long run" says Dr. Klaus Cichutek.

Most experts warn a second wave is not a question of if, but when.

Many EU countries like Belgium and France are also relaxing lockdown measures after 2 months.

The COVID19 pandemic is still not over.

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