On May 19, GSL Director Steven Hoffman was a guest on Global News’ daily podcast Wait, There’s More with host Tamara Khandaker, to discuss the challenges countries who have lifted COVID-19 restrictions are facing now.
In the interview, Hoffman discussed the situations in South Korea, Singapore and Germany, and elaborated on what Canada could learn from the challenges these countries are facing.
When talking about South Korea, Hoffman praised the country’s efficient testing system, which resulted in them planking the curve when COVID-19 first started. Now, however, the country is facing a second-wave and is on the precipice of “super-spreading” due to the government, among other things, allowing nightclubs to reopen. Bars and nightclubs are now suspected to be one of the origins for spreading the virus in the second wave.
In Germany, high testing capabilities coupled with robust measures have proven to be very effective, with a reproduction number of the virus being at 0.65 only a few weeks ago. This means that for every new case of COVID-19, we would only suspect 0.65 additional cases stemming from that person. The goal is not to surpass a reproduction number of 1, which can lead to exponential growth. After reopening schools and large parts of the economy, cases have started to grow in Germany and the reproduction number currently sits at 1.1.
Since Canada is a couple of weeks behind Korea and Germany in its viral history, Hoffman says we have the luxury of seeing what works and what doesn’t and tailor a strategy of reopening according to the lessons other countries had to learn the hard way.
Listen to the full podcast segment on the right.