A Polish health official checking the temperature of Poles returning over the border with Germany.

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A second and even a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic are now likely, according to one of Germany’s leading disease experts.

“We know with great certainty that there will be a second wave. The majority of scientists are sure of this,” said Lothar Wieler, the president of the Robert Koch Institute.

Germany’s national lockdown is fraying at the seams as individual states move to reopen restaurants, beer gardens, and hotels later this summer.

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The world should brace itself for a second and even a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic before the population achieves sufficient immunity to the virus, according to German researchers.

Lothar Wieler, the president of the Robert Koch Institute, a public-health institute in Germany, said on Tuesday that a second wave of infections would come “with great certainty,” adding that most experts shared his view.

“This is a pandemic, and in a pandemic this virus will remain on our list of medical concerns until 60% to 70% of the population have been infected,” he said, according to the Times of London newspaper.

“Therefore we know with great certainty that there will be a second wave. The majority of scientists are sure of this. One also assumes there will be a third wave.”

But Wieler also said it was “very good news” that Germany, whose government has been praised for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, had seen new daily infections drop to between 700 and 1,600 a day.

The number of cases in Germany rose above 164,000 on Tuesday, while the death toll rose above 6,800, according to a German Press Agency tally.

The country’s R0, or “R naught,” which must stay below 1 to avoid an exponential rise in the number of infections, was at 0.71 on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

German states have moved to begin reopening restaurants, beer gardens, and hotels later this summer, though Chancellor Angela Merkel has cautioned against easing lockdown restrictions too briskly.

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She said last week that it “remains absolutely important that we stay disciplined.”

Eight of Germany’s 16 states have introduced plans to reopen businesses, The Times reported, with one state, Saxony, planning to allow open-air demonstrations of up to 50 people.

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