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'First wave' of COVID-19 not over, World Health Organization official says

Says countries can't afford to lift restrictions too early
'First wave' of COVID-19 not over, World Health Organization official says
Posted at 7:58 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 07:58:55-04

BANGKOK — As Brazil and India struggle with surging coronavirus cases, a top health expert is warning that the world is still smack in the middle of the pandemic.

Those comments from Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization are dampening hopes for a speedy global economic rebound. On Monday, he warned that countries could face an "immediate second peak" if they lift social distancing measures too quickly.

“When we speak about a second wave classically what we often mean is there will be a first wave of the disease by itself, and then it recurs months later. And that may be a reality for many countries in a number of months’ time,” Ryan said, according to CNBC.

“But we need also to be cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time. We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now it is going to keep going down and we are get a number of months to get ready for a second wave. We may get a second peak in this wave.”

A U.S. travel ban takes effect Tuesday for foreigners coming from Brazil. On top of that, the South American country got a warning from the U.N. health agency not to reopen its economy before it can perform enough tests to control the spread of the coronavirus.

India reported a record single-day jump in new infections for the seventh straight day and Russia had a record number of daily coronavirus deaths.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.