The Coronavirus ‘May Never Go Away’: World Health Organisation

The coronavirus may never go away and may just become another endemic virus in our communities, warned the WHO.

Updated14 May 2020, 08:41 AM IST
2 min read

The coronavirus may never go away and may just become another endemic virus in our communities, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Wednesday, 14 May.

Dr Michael Ryan, emergencies director, WHO, said at a virtual press briefing, "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,” reported the BBC.

“HIV has not gone away - but we have come to terms with the virus.”
Dr Michael Ryan, emergencies director, WHO

As countries around the world ease restrictions and gradually lift the lockdown, the experts at the organisation believed it is still important for all to stay vigilant and alert.

WHO epidemiologist Maria can Kerhove said at the briefing, “We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic.”

While over 100 vaccines are being developed in the world right now against COVID-19, it cannot be guaranteed that the virus will get eradicated. Dr Ryan also said that he doesn’t think ‘anyone can predict when this disease will disappear.” In fact, diseases such as measles have still not be eliminated despite vaccines.

He added, “There is some magical thinking going on that lockdowns work perfectly and that unlocking lockdowns will go great. Both are fraught with dangers.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also cautioned that there was no guaranteed way of easing restrictions without triggering a second wave of infections.

“Many countries would like to get out of the different measures. But our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible.”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

“There are no promises in this and there are no dates,” the emergencies director said.

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Published: 14 May 2020, 07:46 AM IST
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