The World Health Organization’s special COVID-19 envoy David Nabarro told the Solothurner Zeitung in Switzerland that Europe was likely to see a third wave of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in early 2021 before a vaccine can be introduced.
“They missed building up the necessary infrastructure during the summer months after they brought the first wave under the control,” Nabarro said. “Now we have the second wave. If they don’t build the necessary infrastructure, we’ll have a third wave early next year.”
He also said Europe had much to learn from Asian countries. “One has to react quickly to the virus, robustly and decisively,” he said. “Especially at the start, when the virus is still spreading very slowly in different communities. If you react half-heartedly, the problem will get bigger very quickly.”
Europe briefly enjoyed sinking infection rates during the summer, but they are now surging again.
A major problem, Nabarro added, was that too few political decision-makers understood that the virus was spreading exponentially rather than arithmetically. “Exponential means the numbers could rise 8 times in a week, 40 times in two weeks, 300 times in three weeks, over 1,000 times in four weeks, and so on,” he said.
Photo: A family wear face masks as they walk in front of a mural graffiti in Oviedo, northern Spain. EPA-EFE/ALBERTO MORANTE