BOSTON (CBS) — New research published in The Lancet Public Health journal found that extending social distancing orders could delay a second wave of coronavirus infection.

Researchers in the U.K. used mathematical models to determine the impact of either extending or relaxing current school and workplace closures in Wuhan, China.

They estimated that if measures were lifted in March, a second wave of cases could occur in late August, whereas keeping the restrictions until April would delay a second peak until October, allowing hospitals to better keep pace.

The researchers admit that there were several limitations in their study, but warn that countries should be careful about lifting social distancing measures too soon, otherwise the second wave of infection, which is expected, will come earlier in the year, which would keep healthcare systems from having enough time to catch up and respond.

 

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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