Coronavirus may never go away, warns WHO expert

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With many countries across Europe have started easing their lockdowns, allowing people to move around more and businesses to reopen, the WHO warned there was no way to guarantee that easing the restrictions would not trigger a second wave of infections. — Courtesy photo

GENEVA — The world had a “long, long way to go” to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control, World Health Organization’s top emergencies expert warned on Wednesday.

Addressing a virtual press conference here, Michael Ryan, the WHO's emergencies director said: "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."

"This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away," he added.

"HIV has not gone away — but we have come to terms with the virus."

Talking on the possibility of a breakthrough in vaccine development, Ryan cautioned that vaccines exist for other illnesses, such as measles, that have not been eliminated.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added: “The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic.”

With many countries across Europe have started easing their lockdowns, allowing people to move around more and businesses to reopen, the WHO warned there was no way to guarantee that easing the restrictions would not trigger a second wave of infections.

"Many countries would like to get out of the different measures," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"But our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible." — Agencies



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