BERLIN (Sputnik) - The scientific community is inclined to think there might be a second and even a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lothar Wieler, the president of Robert Koch Institute (RKI) which compiles official data on the coronavirus for the German government, said on Thursday.
"The majority of scientists assume that there will be a second wave and maybe even a third. There are also many scholars who believe that the fall will be the time when this happens. Obviously, this virus will be present in our country for months. We will have to live for months in this 'new normality'", Wieler said at a briefing in Berlin.
As early as March, Wieler warned that the pandemic "will be developing in waves", and epidemiologists in many countries have concurred since then.
At the moment, the so-called basic reproduction level of the virus in Germany is 0.76, meaning that one carrier transmits the virus to less than one other person, Wieler said.
"This is a good development, of course, and we must strive to maintain it", he said, adding that social distancing behaviours should be retained.
According to RKI, it is the basic level of reproduction that governments should be guided by when working out response measures to curb the spread of the virus.
An indicator falling below 1 is the threshold of when restrictive measures can be abated. At the same time, the institute has urged not to overestimate the value of this indicator since it differs from region to region and is usually approximated based on average.