The first case of coronavirus pandemic was diagnosed by the end of winter of 2020. Even after a whole year, the vast majority remains susceptible to catching the infection. However, recent reports on the virus show that the number of new cases may be finally going down globally.
Although the distribution of coronavirus vaccinations around the world has started, health experts believe it cannot be the only reason why new infections and outbreaks are decreasing.
At the moment, only twelve percent of the population in the United States has received vaccinations. Due to the many difficulties in the effective distribution of the vaccines, it may take months before over eighty percent of the people are fully vaccinated.
The situation is not any different in most of the other countries. Therefore, vaccines alone could not have led to fewer new cases of coronavirus infection.
According to experts, the primary reason for the decrease may actually be the end of holidays and festivities. During the past three months, the number of people going to public places specifically for holiday shopping increased dramatically.
At the same time, most of the events and gatherings were shifted indoors because of the cold weather, which made airborne transmission of the virus easier.
Now that all such festivities have passed and people are back to their work routines, the crowds in shopping malls and frequent meet-ups have decreased leading to a lower spread and infection rate of the coronavirus subsequently.
If the majority stays at home and keeps taking other precautions for coronavirus, it can help control the infection to a significant extent. Consequently, it can also end the pandemic by the end of summer.
While the lower number of infections globally is good news, the situation can change very quickly especially because of the rise of new strains of SARS-CoV-2.
In the past few weeks, more than two new variants of the virus have been discovered around the one including the South African strain and the UK strain. Both of these variants are associated with a higher risk of transmission and increased hospitalizations.
Research from Pfizer and Moderna shows both vaccines are effective against these two strains but that does not solve the issue. New variants of the virus can also emerge in the future which may be resistant to all vaccines.
If this happens, the progress made over the pandemic can be lost as the number of cases may rise again. Some experts state that there is a possibility of a ‘coronavirus storm’ in the upcoming months because of new strains.
Therefore, taking preventive measures for coronavirus is crucial for all people. Delay any gatherings or travel plans for a few weeks. Try to cut time spent in public spaces. If heading outside, do not forget to wear a mask and maintain distance.
These guidelines also apply to the people who have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccines as they may still be able to spread the infection to others.