Coronavirus Second Wave: US cases to reach 1.4 million in spike that will peak in winter, warns report

Coronavirus Second Wave: US cases to reach 1.4 million in spike that will peak in winter, warns report
(Getty Images)

As the US grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report has warned that the country will see a second wave of the disease that is likely to peak in winter. 

A model created by Morgan Stanley shows that on a national level, cases will peak in the next few days, declining into the summer, only to come back in a second wave that will reach its peak in winter, according to Business Insider report. The timeline created by the firm shows the coronavirus fading at the end of March 2021. 

“Morgan Stanley foresees a second wave of infections that reaches its apex in the winter, before fading at the end of March 2021, as a vaccine becomes broadly available. The first wave of people, likely those who've had the virus and recovered, could go back to work in June. The second group would follow in mid-summer,” says the article. 

Morgan Stanley has increased its projections as far as the number of COVID-19 cases are concerned. The research team now expects that there will be 1.4 million cases in the US, up from 200,000 that was forecasted a month ago.

The timeline created by Morgan Stanley shows the coronavirus fading at the end of March 2021 as a vaccine becomes available (Getty Images)

Explaining the timeline, the report says that new cases will decline by the end of August. Schools could reopen in September and a vaccine could become available to doctors. But there could be a second outbreak that picks up in November, “aided by cold weather and a slingshot effect between the coasts and the middle of the country after the latter's delayed encounter with the pandemic.” 

Accordingly, there could be 15,000 new cases each day, which will subsequently reduce over the next four months, until a vaccine is broadly available in March.

“Current coronavirus epicenters New York and New Jersey top the charts in projected cases at 500,000 and 140,000, respectively. Other states range from a mere 2,000 up to 80,000 infections,” says the article. 

“While we understand the desire for optimism, we also caution that the US outbreak is far from over. Recovering from this acute period in the outbreak is just the beginning and not the end. We believe the path to re-opening the economy is going to be long. It will require turning on and off various forms of social distancing and will only come to an end when vaccines are available, in the spring of 2021 at the earliest,” said Morgan Stanley biotech analyst Matthew Harrison, reports Barrons. 

The experts, however, says that how a state fares will depend largely on its geography and how well officials and health experts are able and willing to enforce control measures. “Lax quarantine measures are more likely to result in a longer outbreak,” say experts.

Over 582,590 cases have been reported from across the US as of April 14, and more than 23,640 have died in the COVID-19 pandemic, shows the Johns Hopkins tracker. “Many uncertainties lie ahead, but assuming our base case for new infections of the novel coronavirus to peak in April/May, the bulk of the economic pain could be concentrated in the first half of 2020,” says a statement by Morgan Stanley. 


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