WHO Warns Covid-19 Could Become An Endemic That Will “Never Go Away”
For the past few months, we’ve seen many predictions of Covid-19’s lifespan with some projecting that the pandemic may end during summer.
Unfortunately, experts have now made it clear that the virus may be here to stay.
On Wednesday (13 May), the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that Covid-19 could become an endemic virus that never goes away such as HIV.
While this announcement seems depressing, WHO hopes scientists can find a highly effective vaccine that can be distributed to everyone.
Covid-19 could be an endemic
On Wednesday (13 May), an executive director at WHO Dr Mike Ryan urged everyone to refraine from predicting how long Covid-19 would last. He was speaking at a video conference in Geneva.
He addressed questions about the virus’ longevity and warned,
This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities. And this virus may never go away.
The WHO official also urged people to refrain from predicting its lifespan because no one can accurately determine when it will disappear.
Dr Ryan also stressed,
I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.
Covid-19 could be similar to HIV that has been around for a long time. Even so, scientists have been able to find therapies and prevention methods to prevent HIV, and this may eventually happen for the coronavirus.
Hoping for a vaccine
Despite this dire announcement, Dr Ryan said a “highly effective vaccine” is humanity’s one great hope to eliminate the virus.
Then, comes the real challenge of making enough of it so that it’s available to everyone in the world.
Currently, more than 100 potential vaccines are being developed, according to The Straits Times.
While some of these potentials are currently in clinical trials, scientists have highlighted that it would be immensely difficult to find vaccines effective against coronaviruses.
On the other hand, Dr Ryan said it would take “massive effort” for the world to cope with controlling the disease even if scientists could develop a vaccine.
Calling Covid-19 “everybody’s business”, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the journey towards keeping the virus under control “is in our hands”, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic.
No official end date for Covid-19
The Covid-19 outbreak has no official end date so let’s be patient for a vaccine.
There have been many illnesses that threatened the human race in the past, but we have conquered them all in due time.
To stop the outbreak at present, observe safe distancing measures, and stay at home to significantly reduce your risk of infection.
Featured image from Twitter.