COVID-19 to peak at different time depending on country, important to avoid 2nd wave ICRC

In this March 8, 2020, photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a staff member clean up an empty makeshift hospital in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province. File picture/ AP.

MOSCOW: The COVID-19 pandemic will peak at different times in different countries, while the most important challenge for all states now is to prevent the second wave of the outbreak, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Director-General Robert Mardini told Sputnik in an interview.

"Yes, it is different for every country, exactly, because it is like a wave, a tsunami that touches countries at different time. So, every country experiences a different curve.

“You know, China was the first one, obviously, and they had a very spectacular number of people who contracted the virus but with drastic measures of confinement, of staying home they were able to decrease substantially the number and now normal life is almost back to China.

“But, of course, there is still the risk of new waves, and, I think, the authorities and the Chinese people are aware of this. The whole challenge is to avoid that new wave of the epidemic starts again. I think it is a challenge for all countries," Mardini said.

The director-general said that although it seemed that the worst was over in the most affected European countries, such as Italy and Spain, no one could guarantee that the number of cases would not grow again in case of the lack of responsible measures.

The World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11.

To date, more than 2.6 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 183,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.