Romanian epidemiology chief: 4th COVID wave to probably last 4 months

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The fourth COVID wave will last about 4 months and would probably die out only at the end of this year – early next year, Emilian Popovici, epidemiologist and vice president of the Romanian Society of Epidemiology, told an interview to HotNews.ro.

“I estimate the fourth wave will last for four months and it will be self-limiting due to the large number of infections it will generate. The problem is how the situation is managed until then. As you can see, the number of infected people is very high. This number very large – and against the background of the more relaxed measures that have been and have given rise to the Delta variant – will at some point, if it continues, lead to the depletion of receptors, ie people who may be infected with this variant of the virus. , the wave will limit itself by the large number of infections. The biggest problem is how the situation will be managed until then, given that we already have many cases of infections and hospitals that can no longer cope,  as we see, the system is already overwhelmed, with over 1,600 cases in Intensive Care. It is a very critical situation”, Emilian Popovici warned.

He believes that the peak of wave 4 has not yet been reached, despite the fact that we have surged to a daily record of almost 17,000 new infections. The peak, in his view, could be reached only in the second half of October or at the end of it, and until then the upward trend will continue.

Asked if there are there chances that a new variant of the virus, following the model of the British, Indian or Brazilian one, should appear in our country, following a mutation, considering the accelerated transmission, Emilian Popovici says that in any of them where the evolution of the infection is with a large number of diseases, the more diseases there are, the higher the risk of generating mutations and new variants.

“We could see, for example, that in India, against the background of religious things, political events, large population, low social and economic level, the Delta variant appeared. In South Africa, against a background of a large number of infections, with immunocompromised – Many people are infected with HIV / AIDS – the South African version has appeared In Brazil, where they have a president who has urged them not to wear a mask and people have not complied with the measures, the Brazilian version has appeared. In UK, the prime minister also urged non-compliance with the measures, the British version appeared. Conclusion: where the infection is out of control and many people become infected, the virus can generate a new variant.”

The epidemiologist said that the only solutions to get over the 4th wave of the coronavirus are the already know ones: vaccination, facemasks, social distancing and hygiene.“Vaccination with two doses and with a third after 6 months, which strengthens the protection, and also the protection measures,” he stressed.

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