The World Health Organization Emergencies Chief, Dr. Michael Ryan, said in a news briefing on Wednesday that it is impossible to predict when the pandemic would be controlled. The new coronavirus might be here to stay. He said that the amount of people infected by COVID-19 so far is low. Moreover, it may take years to build up sufficient levels of immunity.
“I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear,” he added. “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long-term problem, or it may not. Nothing can be said as of now.”
Coronavirus is just another novel disease like HIV, which hasn’t disappeared but measures have been developed by people to live by it.
Dr. Ryan said that though there’s hope that a vaccine would be developed, it would require a lot of time and work to be produced and distributed worldwide. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, pointed out that stopping the spread of the virus is possible even without medical intervention. The trajectory of this outbreak is in our hands, she said. We have seen some countries bring the virus under control.
Countries across the globe are struggling to reopen their economies while managing the virus, with around 4.3 million infected people and 2,91,000 deaths. Ryan said that opening land borders is safer than easing air travel, which is a whole ‘different challenge’.People all over the world are anxious about when the lockdown restrictions will be lifted, so, as stated by WHO “The world may learn to live with it”.
Image Source – Harvard