WHO: We're not seeing a 'second wave.' Coronavirus cases are spiking because lockdown rules are easing.
Beach vacationers are reminded to stay one meter apart on Venice Beach on Memorial Day as coronavirus security restrictions continue to be relaxed.
David McNew / Getty Images
In some countries and states, new increases in coronavirus cases have been referred to as the "second wave".
But most places in the world are "still in crisis" of a first wave, a World Health Organization leader said on June 12.
The upticks are associated with loosened lockdown measures and not with a resurgence of the virus, which takes its natural course.
In the absence of barriers, countries need to find alternatives to control this ongoing first wave.
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As states continue to open stores and many Americans try to regain a sense of normalcy - going to the beach or going back to work in some cases - they also see spikes in coronavirus cases.
At least 21 states saw an increase in new infections. At least nine states have reported that hospitalization rates have increased in the past week.
Related video: How location data can help track and stop the spread of COVID-19
Countries like China have also seen coronavirus cases increase in some cities after opening tourist attractions, restaurants, and other shops.
However, calling instances like this "the second wave" is not entirely true, said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergency Program, during a press conference on June 13.
"In the first place, most of the world is still in the first wave of this pandemic," he said.
While many countries have peaked in the first wave, this doesn't mean that upticks represent a new wave as defined by most scientists and health professionals.
"In other words, the disease has not reached a very low level, maintained a low level, and will come back some time later in the year," said Ryan.
Rather, these resurrections seem to be related to the reopening of societies, which causes people to mix without necessarily exercising physical distance.
"It is not at all surprising that every country that emerges from this so-called ban can have disease clusters and disease recurrence," he said. "This is not necessarily a second wave."
A second block may not be effective, so governments need good data to control the spread
Ryan did not mention second locks as a possible strategy to control new spikes in cases, although some regions in China did just that and New York governor Andrew Cuomo said this could happen in New York City.
In their absence, jurisdictions could consider "much more microprocesses" to control the spread of the virus until a safe, effective vaccine is developed and widely used.
Coronavirus testing will continue on April 22, 2020 at the ProHealth test centers in Jericho, New York.
J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images
For example, they can identify exactly where the new cases are coming from and intervene in these specific subregions instead of nationwide or nationwide. However, governments need good data to do this.
"It really depends on the sophistication of your public health surveillance, your ability to test, track and trace your knowledge of the virus that is spreading in communities, and your ability to take action in a way which is not a blanket measure. " Said Ryan.
"Without good data, this approach is almost impossible," he added.
Another key to controlling new spreads is a close relationship between leaders and their communities, which provides citizens with the knowledge and ability to protect themselves and their neighbors.
Ryan admitted that these types of measures are easier said than done.
"There is a careful balance to be found between maintaining everyone's home and completely suppressing the transmission of COVID-19 and the adverse effects on the economy and society - and that is not an easy balance," he said. "This is a public health dilemma that every government needs to carefully manage and address every minute of every day."
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