"Coronaviruses" by CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy / Public Domain

‘We need to be alert’: Scientists fear second coronavirus wave as China’s lockdowns ease

Mar 30, 2020

By David Cyranoski

For the first time in months, the Chinese province of Hubei, where the coronavirus first emerged, is getting attention for a good reason. COVID-19 cases there have dropped to practically zero, and last week authorities lifted travel restrictions in and out of the province, some 60 days after much of it was dramatically locked down. Now scientists — and the rest of the world — are watching closely to see whether easing the intense measures to keep people apart results in an emergence of new cases. An early analysis suggests that, so far, these fears have not come to pass.

“It’s time to relax the lockdown, but we need to be alert for a potential second wave of infections,” says Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, who will be following the situation in China. If a second wave comes, Cowling would expect to see it emerge by the end of April.

How things unfold in Hubei — and across China — will be relevant to many European nations and some US states that have restricted travel inside their borders, closed most businesses, schools and universities and told people to stay at home, in an attempt to halt the pathogen’s spread. Modelling of the UK outbreak suggests that the country’s social distancing measures, including school and university closures, might be needed for large parts of the next two years to keep the proportion of people with severe COVID-19 infections in hospital at manageable levels.

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One comment on “‘We need to be alert’: Scientists fear second coronavirus wave as China’s lockdowns ease”

  • They can’t afford to do that and they know it. They need to spin it, sure. They also know they need to share information as soon as possible (with their spin).
    The people of China will share info via vpn + social media. Which will enlighten the rest of the world. World powers will retract from China further both during the pandemic and after. The rest of the globe is already tired of disease coming out of China and this would probably be a tipping point.
    Add to that China’s citizens would see much more clearly the thin veil that China disguises misinformation as strength. Remember, there are humans having to live through the reality of this. A state government can only lie for so long and in so many ways and get away with it.
    Good spin on the other hand… that allows China to pass information along while also removing their own responsibility.

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