Why in news?

  • As China seems to have “flattened the curve” of its coronavirus cases and is no longer the country with the highest number of infected people or with the highest death toll, all eyes are going to be on it in the coming weeks, as restrictions are slowly lifted on residents after over two months of lockdown in different provinces.
  • In Wuhan, the former epicentre of the infection outbreak, restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on April 8.
  • But this hardly means that China is done dealing with coronavirus, as experts have advised caution and will observe the country to see if there is a resurgence in cases once the restrictions are lifted.

When lockdowns are lifted, what research says

  • The trajectory China follows after restrictions are lifted will have significant takeaways for the rest of the world, especially for the US and countries in Europe, which are the new epicentres of the global pandemic.
  • When lives of residents in China slowly slip back to normal, what needs to be seen is if the number of COVID-19 cases increases again, and if due to this, a second lockdown will be required in the country.

Is resurfacing of the virus a possibility?

  • The virus might have difficulty in resurfacing as strongly as the first time if the majority of people in a given population have been infected and developed “herd immunity” as a result.
  • But this may not necessarily be the case. If one considers even Wuhan, which recorded more than half of China’s COVID-19 cases, the majority of the people in the province are still not infected.
  • Thus, if the virus were to resurface, the number of vulnerable people would still be high.
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