The COVID-19 “may never go away”, the WHO authorities have issued a stark warning during a briefing on Wednesday. Emergencies director at the World Health Organization, Dr. Mike Ryan warned against trying to predict the expiration time of virus. He added that massive effort will be required to curtail the virus even after the discovery of a vaccine. More than 100 potential vaccines are under process globally. Around 300,000 people around the globe have reportedly lost their lives because of the deadly disease while more than 4.3 million cases have been confirmed.
The United Nations meanwhile warned of widespread distress and psychological health issues that came with the novel coronavirus particularly in the nations with insufficient to deficient resources in mental healthcare. It urged the governments to include mental health as a priority in their overall response to the pandemic.
“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,” Dr. Ryan told the virtual press conference from Geneva.
“HIV has not gone away – but we have come to terms with the virus.”
Dr. Ryan then said he doesn’t believe “anyone can predict when this disease will disappear”.
There are over 100 potential vaccines under development but Dr. Ryan noted that there other such illnesses such as measles that still exist despite the availability of the vaccines. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized that it is still not late to control the spread of virus.
“The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic,” he said.
WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove also told the briefing: “We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic.”
The warning is coming at a time when a number of countries have gradually attempted to ease the social distancing measures and have reopened their economies.
“Many countries would like to get out of the different measures,” the WHO boss said. “But our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible.”
Dr. Ryan added: “There is some magical thinking going on that lockdowns work perfectly and that unlocking lockdowns will go great. Both are fraught with dangers.”