On Wednesday, the World Health Organization in its press briefing warned the deadly coronavirus “may never go away.” WHO emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan on being asked when the virus would disappear answered this. Even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will require a “massive effort”.
“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” Dr Ryan told the virtual press conference from Geneva.
“HIV has not gone away – but we have come to terms with the virus.”
Nearly 300,000 people worldwide are reported to have died with coronavirus and more than 4.3m cases were reported. Meanwhile, the UN warned that the pandemic was causing widespread distress and mental pressure.The UN urged the governments to make mental health considerations part of their overall response.
Dr Ryan noted that there are more than 100 potential vaccines as of now but there are illnesses, such as measles, that still haven’t been eliminated despite there being vaccines for them.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic.”
WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove also told the briefing: “We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic.”
Dr Tedros also discussed the ease of the lockdown in several countries. The WHO boss warned that there was no guarantee that easing restriction or reopening the economies will not trigger a second wave of pandemic.
“Many countries would like to get out of the different measures,” the WHO chief said. “But our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible,” he added.