The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that it is hard to predict the end of the pandemic. Officials said that the virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and may never go away.
This picture taken on May 12, 2020, shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva next to their headquarters, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)
Geneva: Officials of the World Health Organization (WHO) have said it is hard to predict when the pandemic will be over, but countries should stay positive and collaborate closely.
“We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time, and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it,” Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said on Wednesday at a press conference in Geneva, Xinhua reported.
“I think it’s 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,” said Ryan. “It is important that we be realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear.”
“We may have a shot at eliminating this virus” with the help of a vaccine, he said, adding that the vaccine must then be “highly effective” and “made available to everyone” and that “we will have to use it.” He believes that there is a “massive opportunity for the world” to turn “a tragic pandemic into a beacon of hope for the future,” urging the world to “work together to solve our problems through solidarity, through trust, through working together and through a multilateral system that can actually benefit mankind.”
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“In some senses, we have control over that future, but it’s going to take a massive effort to do it,” he said, noting that “it’s going to need the political, the financial, the operational, the technical and the community support to be a success.”
Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 technical lead at WHO, added that, despite people may be “in a state of feeling quite some despair,” we should remain positive and hopeful. “We have seen countries bring this virus under control, we have seen countries use public health measures, the fundamentals of public health and epidemiology and clinical care, to bring the virus under control and to suppress transmission to a low enough level where communities can get back to work and communities can open up again, so we can’t forget that,” she said.