Health Care

Coronavirus may become another endemic: WHO Expert

Coronavirus may become another endemic: WHO Expert”

World Health Organization emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan said it is now unknown exactly when the virus would disappear.

"HIV has not gone away - but we have come to terms with the virus", he added.

Ryan added that he didn't believe "anyone can predict when this disease will disappear".

The World Health Organization has warned that the coronavirus may become endemic within communities just like HIV/AIDS and other ailments.

Decades after the AIDS crisis began, there is still a stigma around HIV which means that people living with the virus are subjected to stereotyping, moral judgements, social isolation and healthcare discrimination.

Read also After the Covid-19, how could we live in the city? Without a vaccine, he said it could take years for the global population to build up sufficient levels of immunity.

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"We do have one great hope - if we do find a highly effective vaccine that we can distribute to everyone who needs it in the world, we may have a shot at eliminating this virus".

To date, more than 4.2 million people have been infected with Covid-19, and the virus has already killed over 300,000 worldwide.

More than 100 potential vaccines are under development, according to WHO. Zhong, who helped expose the scale of the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also said authorities in ground-zero Wuhan had under-reported cases during the early days of the pandemic.

"We have some perfectly effective vaccines on this planet that we have not used effectively for diseases we could have eradicated and we have not done it", Dr Ryan said.

The global health body has come under criticism not just from the USA for its response being "China-centric". For this reason, African countries could see higher fatality rates among relatively young people, researchers said.

The United Nations health agency has been releasing a raft of guidelines as to how operations should resume as lockdown measures continue to be eased across different countries globally. "Both are fraught with inherent dangers".



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