A new study says that despite stay-at-home measures being successful in flattening the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, any easing of restrictions could be counterintuitive prior to a vaccine being discovered.
“The first wave of COVID-19 outside of Hubei has abated because of aggressive non-pharmaceutical interventions,” the researchers wrote in the study. “However, given the substantial risk of viral reintroduction, particularly from overseas importation, close monitoring of [reproduction number] and [confirmed case-fatality risk] is needed to inform strategies against a potential second wave to achieve an optimal balance between health and economic protection.”
The research was published in the scientific journal The Lancet.
The reproduction number is the number of people that one person can infect, which the authors found has dropped from between two and three to “below [one].”
The confirmed case-fatality risk, also known as the case-fatality risk, is defined as the “proportion of deaths within a defined population of interest,” measuring “the severity of the disease that causes death.”
A similar study published last month said a “second wave” could come in China if social distancing was ended too soon in Wuhan.