COVID-19 may never go away, warns WHO

GENEVA – The novel coronavirus may become another just another virus in the world community like HIV infection, and may never go away, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official has warned

“I am not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we are realistic. I do not think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear,” Dr Michael J Ryan Dr Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said during a media briefing in Geneva yesterday.

Dr Ryan also said lifting coronavirus restrictions while the case count is still high could lead to the renewed massive transmission of the virus and another possible lockdown.

“If you can get the day-to-day number to the lowest possible level and get as much virus out of the community as possible, then when you open, you will tend to have less transmission or much less risk.

“If you reopen in the presence of a high degree of virus transmission, then that transmission may accelerate,” Ryan was quoted as saying by Sputnik.

“We may have a shot at eliminating this virus but that vaccine will have to be available, it will have to be highly effective, it will have to be made available to everyone and we’ll have to use it,” Ryan added on the issue of COVID-19 vaccine.

“This disease may settle into a long-term problem or it may not.”

Over the issue of attacks on ethnic minorities in certain countries over COVID-19, Ryan said that coronavirus is bringing the ‘best in us and also some of the worst in us’.

So far, a total of 4,451,226 number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported including 298,520 fatalities. More than 1.67 million have also recovered from the illness.

Meanwhile, multiple teams of scientists around the world are currently trying to develop a viable coronavirus vaccine.
WHO had declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, and it has been giving daily situation report on the infection since January 21.

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