The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic is potentially more severe than the first year (2020).
This was considering the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus is increasingly infectious, especially in the northern hemisphere.
“We are going into the second year (2021), it could be even more difficult, given the dynamics of transmission and some of the new problems we saw,” said the WHO’s top emergency official, Mike Ryan, quoted by Reuters on Thursday, January 14, 2021.
The number of deaths worldwide is currently approaching 2 million since the pandemic first began, with 91.5 million people having been positively infected.
WHO, in an epidemiological publication update, said, about 5 million new cases were reported last week, which was likely triggered by the holiday season.
“Certainly in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe and North America, we have seen winter storms, people arriving, social mingling increasing, as well as a combination of other factors,” Ryan said.
WHO technical leader for Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove warned, after the New Year holidays, the situation for the spread of Covid-19 would be much worse in several countries.
The spread of the new Covid-19 variant which was first detected in the UK has now become entrenched throughout the world. This prompted governments across Europe last Wednesday to announce a lockdown that was stricter than ever.
Among the policies, such as limiting office operating hours and closing shops in Switzerland; the extended Covid-19 emergency in Italy, and; efforts to reduce population-to-population contact in Germany.
Apart from the UK, a new variant of the coronavirus from South Africa also worries many countries.