BioScience Trends. 2021;15(5):341-344. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01361)
Considerations and guidance to control the rebound in COVID-19 cases
Li Q, Zhan XM, Wang J, Lu HZ
Induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a serious crisis for healthcare systems worldwide. COVID-19 vaccine coverage has increased in many countries, but the COVID-19 epidemic has rapidly expanded, with a daily increase of 30,390 COVID-19 cases and 9,761 deaths since August 12, 2021. This article provides a brief overview of growing concerns about a rebound of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Delta variant and public health epidemic control measures that have recently been relaxed. As of August 13, 2021, 465,679 cases of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in over 120 countries. Epidemic control measures were relaxed in some areas, such as allowing large gatherings and improper criteria for ending self-isolation. Even in China, where the epidemic was tightly controlled with strict non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), new COVID-19 cases, and asymptomatic cases in particular, spiked in the first 13 days of August. More importantly, most of those cases were local, while most of the cases accounting for the previous increase were imported. Therefore, relaxed epidemic control measures and asymptomatic infections possibly caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 may increase the risk of virus transmission. Accordingly, suggestions for COVID-19 containment, such as encouraging vaccination of the general population, using Internet of Things technology (loT) to reduce the possibility of contact with the asymptomatic infected, and enhancing disease surveillance, have been offered here.