"A second wave of coronavirus infections is highly likely if we aren't careful”

According to a poll carried out for the Corona Debate that VRT News is staging along with our colleagues from the DPG Media, 8 out of 10 people fear that there will be a second wave of novel coronavirus infections. 

The Antwerp University epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme (photo above) says that these fears are far from unfounded and that we need to be very careful to avoid this happening.

Dr Van Damme says that we need to maintain and uphold the measures that are currently in force as much as possible and he makes the comparison with driving a car. "Limiting our social contacts is our safety belt, keeping our distance is our bodywork, mouth masks could even be our second safety belt”, Dr Van Damme said. 

“If we are able to find a balance between relaxing the measures and averting an increase in cases we will reach the finishing line. Now the finishing line is above all winning time over the virus. The only solution that will enable is to return to the old normal is a vaccine”. 

"A second wave is highly likely if we aren’t careful and this is something we need to keep our eyes on. In the autumn there are a lot of other viruses in circulation, like flu, that have similar symptoms. It will be very difficult to make out which virus it is. We will have to prepare ourselves now to be able to monitor it then”. 

Pierre Van Damme adds that tracing infected people’s contacts is pivotal to this. “Thanks to contact tracing we will be able to move from a lockdown in the whole country to a lockdown only in the places where it is necessary”.