Many people in countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and so on have started to think that the CCP coronavirus outbreak in their nations has stabilized and will decline in the near term. However, some warn that these countries could see a second wave of infections quite soon.
The second wave
A recent study published in The Lancet Public Health journal suggests that extreme restrictions in Wuhan limited the coronavirus outbreak to some extent. But it does not mean that the danger of widespread infection is anywhere near over. The study warns that a second wave of infection will hit China by August.
“Using mathematical modelling to simulate the impact of either extending or relaxing current school and workplace closures, researchers estimate that by lifting these control measures in March, a second wave of cases may occur in late August, whereas maintaining these restrictions until April, would likely delay a second peak until October — relieving pressure on the health services in the intervening months,” according to Scimex.
During the initial days of the outbreak, the infection was spreading fast in South Korea. Thanks to the timely government response, the situation was brought under control through aggressive tracking of potentially infected people and quarantining them. As the fear of a second infection wave grows among authorities, some have asked the administration to extend its entry ban, which is already being criticized for being too weak.
In Japan, reports of infections grew slowly during the January-February period. However, the number of infections grew at a record high pace for four days in late March, indicating that things could get ugly in the coming months. Singapore has announced that all long-term pass-holders need to get approval from authorities before entering the country. This is expected to cut down the number of coronavirus infected people coming into Singapore. Taiwan has been a success story, registering 5 or fewer cases of infections per day in late January. But by mid-March, the number spiked to the high 20s.
Some experts believe that we should plan ahead by taking into account a future where the CCP coronavirus will be present in society. “For the second wave, what we would like to happen is, if there is a growth, it’s much slower… Coronavirus is not going away. We’re not going to eliminate it. We’re going to have to face the prospect that it is always going to be around, but hopefully in small numbers until we can identify an effective treatment or vaccine,” Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, said to Wired.
A study done on 175 blood samples of patients who recovered from COVID-19 infection found that almost a third of them had low levels of antibodies, potentially leaving them more susceptible to reinfection. The study, conducted by Fudan University, excluded patients who had been in ICUs since they were already given antibodies from donated blood plasma.
“The team also found that antibody levels rose with age, with people in the 60-85 age group displaying more than three times the amount of antibodies as people in the 15-39 age group. The low amounts of antibodies could affect herd immunity, resistance to the disease among the general population to stop its spread,” according to South China Morning Post.
Ten patients had such a low presence of antibodies that they could not even be detected at a laboratory. Researchers theorize that these people may have succeeded in beating the CCP coronavirus using other parts of the immune system, like cytokines or T-cells.