With winter nearing, health experts are warning that a new wave of the coronavirus could be coming in the Northern Hemisphere.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organization fully supports the reopening of economies and societies, but countries need to be vigilant in maintaining coronavirus safety measures even as the seasons change.

Dr. Tedros said during a COVID-19 media briefing on Monday: “Eight months into the pandemic, we understand that people are tired and yearn to get on with their lives. We understand that countries want to get their societies and economies going again.

“That’s what WHO wants, too. Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions are something that some countries felt they needed to do to take pressure off their health systems. But they have taken a heavy toll on livelihoods, economies, and mental health.

“WHO fully supports efforts to reopen economies and societies. We want to see children returning to school and people returning to the workplace – but we want to see it done safely.”

The reminder to keep safe from Dr. Tedros follows last month's comments by Catherine Smallwood, senior emergency officer at WHO Europe, during an online press briefing (via CNBC).

She said at the time: “Winter is coming. People are traveling more, they are going back to work, schools are reopening — these are all factors that are going to increase the risk of community transmission and further transmission.”

“As we approach the flu season and the winter months, there are additional factors that will conflate and add even more to that level of risk. We are very concerned that countries prepare adequately for that, and we are very, very engaged in that at the moment.”

Health experts have warned that a “twindemic” could occur with the rise of the flu coupled with the coronavirus, which has sparked an urgency for people to get an influenza vaccine to prevent a flu pandemic.

Globally there are over 25.7 million positive cases of the coronavirus with over 857,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.