In a significant statement, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that COVID-19 may never go away and it could become an endemic like HIV. The world health body further said that people around the world will have to learn to live with it.
WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan, while speaking during an online briefing, added that even if a vaccine were found for COVID-19, controlling its spread would require a massive effort. He pointed out that vaccines exist for other illnesses, such as measles, but they have still not been eliminated.
“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,” Mike Ryan said.
“It is a vicious cycle of public health disasters followed by economic disasters. This virus may never go away. HIV has not gone away. But we have come to terms with the virus. We have developed therapies, prevention methods. People are not as afraid of HIV as they used to be earlier. We are offering long, healthy lives to people with HIV. I am not comparing the two diseases. But it is important to be realistic,” he added.
Referring to more than 100 potential vaccines for COVID-19 that are being developed across the world, Ryan said, “We do have a one-way shot, of developing a highly effective vaccine. But we have to make that vaccine available to everyone, then only we will have a shot at eliminating this disease.”
Over 4 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed world over so far and over 300,000 people have lost their lives due to this pandemic.
Dr. Mike Ryan, the head of the World Health Organization emergencies program, said that the novel coronavirus may become ‘another endemic virus in our communities’ and ‘may never go away’ https://t.co/vnfbFP3LDr pic.twitter.com/vUDJaGMHDn
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 14, 2020