Second wave of COVID-19 coming, China can avoid it despite risks from imported cases: experts

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/8 11:18:31

People wearing face masks wait in line to do shopping at a Whole Foods store during the coronavirus pandemic in the Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, on April 14, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is on the way and China should try to avoid it, Chinese experts said, after China reported continuous imported cases in recent days.

According to China's National Health Commission on Monday, Southwest China's Sichuan Province and East China's Shanghai respectively reported four and one imported cases.

Facing pressure from imported COVID-19 cases, China's goal is to not be affected by the second wave of the pandemic, Zhang Wenhong, a Shanghai-based infectious disease expert, told Chinese media Sunday.

Zhang believed that after the fight against the domestic epidemic, the public health system in China has become stronger and more capable of handling the risks brought by imported cases. 

Zhang warned that the second wave of the epidemic is coming, adding, "Brazil, Russia and India have not seen their peaks, so I don't know when the number of infected people will come down." 

After the US, where the epidemic is most severe, resumed work, the epidemic in many states began to show signs of rebound, which has also been seen in Middle East countries such as Iran, Zhang believed.

He said the global epidemic will continue to move forward and there are signs that the rebound has even exceeded the first wave. 

Wang Peiyu, deputy head of Peking University's School of Public Health, also told the Global Times that with other countries still seeing large numbers of confirmed patients every day, China cannot let down its guard, even though it has basically brought the domestic situation under control. 

However, Wang believed the second wave of the pandemic won't be as strong as the first wave, since regions and countries have gained experience in handling COVID-19, but regional epidemics in some countries are still possible.

Data from health authorities showed that the three imported confirmed patients reported in Sichuan Province had flown back to Chengdu from Cairo, Egypt on June 6. The other one was diagnosed as being an asymptomatic infection. They were confirmed to be infected while they were in quarantine after arriving in Chengdu.

The patient reported from Shanghai was a Chinese student studying in the US who flew back to the city on June 4 and was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 during quarantine. Forty-five passengers who shared the same flight were quarantined as close contacts.

China had reported sporadic imported cases for days - the number of imported cases reported nationwide on Sunday also stood at five, involving regions of Shaanxi, Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong; the number was three on Saturday, who were reported from Guangdong Province. 

To prevent imported cases from spreading domestically and reversing the anti-epidemic achievements that the country has already gained, cities in China are continuing to adopt closed-loop management for people returning from overseas. 

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