Coronavirus may never go away

Coronavirus may never go away

Coronavirus may never go away

The executive director of World Health Organisation, Dr. Michael Ryan on Wednesday said that COVID-19 could be around for a long time.

A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that the coronavirus will infect nearly one-quarter of a billion people in Africa during the first year of the pandemic.

"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.

Canada's National Research Council has partnered with Chinese company CanSino Biologics to develop and test a promising COVID-19 vaccine.

Ryan noted that vaccines exist for other illnesses, such as measles, that have not been eliminated.

As of Thursday morning, there were more than 4.3 million reported coronavirus cases worldwide, with more than 297,000 deaths, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Ryan also condemned attacks on healthcare workers that were linked to the pandemic, saying more than 35 "quite serious" such incidents were recorded in April alone in 11 countries.

"I am not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we are realistic. Both are fraught with dangers", the Irish epidemiologist said.

"The virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away", Ryan said Wednesday. "Covid-19 is bringing out the best in us, but it's also bringing out some of the worst", he added.

"We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time", Dr Ryan said.

"HIV has not gone away - but we have come to terms with the virus", he added.

In all, around one in four (22%) of the 1 billion people in the WHO Africa Region would be infected in the first 12 months.

"We could, with a massive moon shot, find a vaccine and give that to everyone who needs it and stop this disease in its tracks", Dr Ryan said.

Speaking at the virtual World Economic Forum-WHO joint briefing on Covid-19 response in Asia-Pacific, Dr Kasai said he understands that everyone is eager to move on, but the process of easing restrictions should not be rushed.

The United Nations health agency has been releasing a raft of guidelines as to how operations should resume as lockdown measures continue to be eased across different countries globally.

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