April 24, 2020 12:15
Health officials at home and abroad have warned of a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks when the weather turns cold again.
"It seems highly likely that the epidemic will continue to rage for two years," Yoon Tae-ho, a senior Health and Welfare Ministry official, told reporters on Thursday. "We're preparing for a second wave this fall or winter."
In anticipation of a larger outbreak than the one in Daegu amid followers of the Shincheonji sect, "we've secured a sufficient supply of medical resources such as ventilators and negative-pressure isolation rooms to treat patients with serious conditions," he added. Currently, there are about 9,000 ventilators across the country.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, the chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also warned that the epidemic could resurge when winter comes and conditions allow viruses to thrive.
Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told CBS This Morning on Wednesday that second wave is "certainly a possibility."
A day earlier, the chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, warned, "There's a possibility that the assault of the virus... next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through."
The U.S. is trying to develop a vaccine quickly, but it will not be available until next March, Hahn said. "It's still the case that the estimate is March." "But we're really trying to accelerate the efforts, and we will try for sooner."
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said, "Early evidence suggests most of the world's population remains susceptible. That means epidemics can easily reignite. One of the greatest dangers we face now is complacency."
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