Following reports of relaxation in lockdown by various major economies around the world, on 19th June 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that this could lead to a ‘New and Dangerous phase’ of the COVID-19 pandemic. As people and governments across the world are tired of lockdowns, the WHO reminded that the COVID-19 virus spread has accelerated.

Background

This warning came after reports from Italy came through that from 2 cities of Italy (Milan and Turin), samples of sewage water collected from 18th December 2019 have traces of the COVID-19 virus. The 1st case in Italy was reported in mid-February, which means the virus was already present two months before the 1st case was detected. This study was conducted at the National Health Institute Body (ISS).

A similar study in Spain was conducted in which traces of the COVID-19 virus were found in sewage water samples collected from Barcelona in the month of January.

This indicates that the symptoms of the Virus and the extent to which it has spread are still unknown.

Covid-19 Vaccine Update

Indian Scientist Soumya Swaminathan (currently- Chief Scientist at WHO) has recently said that she expects 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be available by the end of 2020 but for reaching the distribution stage of the vaccine, the exact time frame still depends on the success of the trails. WHO warns about a ‘New and Dangerous phase’ of COVID-19

United States company Moderna which is working on a messenger-Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) vaccine has recently announced that they are likely to launch trails for Phase-III of the vaccine next month.  The clinical trials are conducted in III-phases for a vaccine: In Phase-I, it’s tested in a small sample of healthy humans, while in Phase-II efforts are made to test in a larger sample of healthy humans having different age groups for the efficiency, safety and also to determine the correct dose required as the group. Phase-III trials are performed in a much broader population. WHO warns about a ‘New and Dangerous phase’ of COVID-19