Coronavirus infections have surpassed 6.3 million globally on June 2, with more than 377,000 deaths linked to COVID-19. Although countries like New Zealand have come out on top due to widespread lockdown measures, there is some concern new hotspots are still flaring across the globe. According to Dr Paweł Grzesiowski from the Foundation of the Institute of Infection Prevention in Poland, the pandemic is far from over.

Dr Grzesiowski said: “The global pandemic is not weakening, its severity in different parts of the world varies depending on local conditions.”

In the UK, more than 279,000 people have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus, leading to nearly 40,000 deaths.

The US has suffered the highest number of infections since December, with more than 1.8 million people infected and more than 105,000 dead.

Brazil is trailing behind with more than 500,000 infections and nearly 30,000 deaths.

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On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 33,274 new cases in Brazil between May 31 and June 1 – more than any other country.

In the US, for comparison, 17,962 new cases were recorded in the same 24 hours.

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In Russia, where nearly 500,000 are infected, 9,035 new cases were recorded.

And with many countries now loosening their travel restrictions and lockdown measures, Dr Grzesiowski believes a new challenge is emerging.

There is concern ease of travel will help the virus spread and lead to a second wave of infections.

The global pandemic is not weakening

Dr Paweł Grzesiowski, Institute of Infection Prevention

Dr Hans Kluge, director for the WHO European region, told The Telegraph now is “the time for preparation, not celebration”.

Similarly, Dr Andrea Ammon of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), told The Guardian a second wave of infections is likely if people flout social distancing rules.

In England, where lockdown rules are starting to ease, the Government is now allowing up to six people from different households to spend time outdoors as long as social distancing is observed.

But not everyone believes a second wave is guaranteed in the coming weeks.

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Self-described second-wave sceptic and microbiologist Hugh Pennington, from the University of Edinburgh, has said the evidence of a second wave is weak.

He told The Telegraph: “That the virus will persist for ages is a flu concept. These predictions should be put to one side.”

However, Dr Grzesiowski argued larger congregations of people in public spaces helps facilitate the spread of the coronavirus.

He said: “We must remember that the more people gather in one place, particularly in rooms, the higher the risk of infection.”

On June 2, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed 35.2 percent of all COVID-19 related deaths up to May 22 have occurred in care homes.

The Health Secretary also discussed the possibility of introducing lockdown measures on national or local levels to contain the virus.

He said: “The package of measures that we’ve taken, we judge to be safe.

“But, of course, it depends on how people behave and so it’s important people follow the social distancing guidelines even as they are changed, and we will keep it under review.

“We then, if we need to make changes, we can either make them at a national level or a local level, and that will be determined by where we see any outbreaks if we see them.”

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