CAIRO: A World Health Organization (WHO) expert has confirmed the possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a number of countries.
Maha Talat, the regional antimicrobial adviser for the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, cited Iran as an example, where infections have surged again. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, via videoconferencing, on the latest developments on the pandemic, she added that Egypt was still in the middle of the first wave, which has not yet subsided. After this wave, she said, another wave might hit the country.
Egypt has reported 1,306 deaths from the virus and 36,829 infections since the beginning of the outbreak in February.
Dr. Ahmed El-Zenary, a member of the infection control team in a quarantine hospital in Egypt, said: “What often happens with respiratory viruses is that they spread on a large scale, then start to decline, just like sea waves. A few months later, they surge again and spread around the world, or parts of the world, in what is known as the second wave.”
He said a new wave takes place in the form of a genetic mutation in the virus.
El-Zenary said this could be avoided in Egypt by: “Imposing restrictions on movement which limit the spread of the virus. However, this leaves many people subject to infection as soon as they start going out again.”
He said a second wave of the virus would likely not be very strong.
Cairo-based Dr. Abdel-Meguid Ibrahim told Arab News that Egypt could possibly face a second wave “although I believe that it will not be that different from the first wave, or that it will immediately follow the first wave. However, it is easy to avoid.”