The novel coronavirus has already killed more than 2,99,523 people worldwide, and the total number of positive cases has crossed 4.4 million. As the healthcare sector is finding it hard to contain this deadly pandemic, a top official at the World Health Organization has warned that the second wave of coronavirus could hit Europe this winter.

These remarks were made by Dr Hans Kluge, Director of the WHO European region, during an exclusive talk with The Telegraph. This dire warning from Kluge comes at a time when several countries are planning to ease lockdown restrictions. The WHO official added that this is the time for preparation, and not for celebration.

Second Coronavirus Wave will be Deadlier

Coronavirus
Pixabay

According to Kluge, the recent low in coronavirus positive cases in countries like Italy, France, and the United Kingdom does not mean that this pandemic outbreak is coming to an end. Citing the examples of rising coronavirus positive cases in countries like Russia and Ukraine, Kluge revealed that that the current epicenter of coronavirus pandemic is now in the east.

"We know from history that in pandemics the countries that have not been hit early on can be hit in a second wave. What are we going to see in Africa and Eastern Europe? They're behind the curve – some countries are saying: 'We're not like Italy' and then, two weeks later, boom! They can, unfortunately, get hit by a second wave, so we have to be very very careful," Kluge told The Telegraph.

Kluge added that easing of lockdown measures should be carried out gradually and carefully. He also talked about the vitality of conducting more tests to identify several asymptomatic coronavirus patients.

Coronavirus to Affect 60 to 70 Percent of Population

A few days back, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota had predicted that the current status of COVID-19 infection actually represents a fraction of illness and death which is yet to come.

He also warned that this deadly pandemic will not slow down until it affects at least 60 to 70 percent of the population. Osterholm also talked about a second coronavirus wave that could cause chaos in countries like South Korea and Singapore.