- WHO calls for efforts from each person to control the pandemic
- Very hard to predict when COVID-19 pandemic will be controlled: WHO
- HIV has not gone away, but we have had to come to terms with it: WHO
New Delhi: As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise every day, the World Health Organisation says that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay and the people may have to learn to live with it and accept it as a new reality. While speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Michael J. Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme said that the coronavirus may just join the mix of viruses that cause fatalities around the world every year and may never go.
Dr. Ryan 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 community and may never go away.
Dr. Ryan, who is a former trauma surgeon and epidemiologist specialising in infectious disease highlighted that HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) has not gone away and the world has eventually come to terms with it. He added,
I am not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we are realistic. I do not think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear.
He also said lifting coronavirus restrictions while the case count is still high could lead to the renewed massive transmission of the virus and another possible lockdown. He said,
If you can get the day-to-day number to the lowest possible level and get as much virus out of the community as possible, then when you open, you will tend to have less transmission or much less risk. If you reopen in the presence of a high degree of virus transmission, then that transmission may accelerate.
Dr. Raman Dhara, Additional Professor, Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Hyderabad has agreed with the WHO expert and added that an with concerted efforts towards controlling the spread of the virus, vaccine development and immunizing most people will help in coming to terms with the novel coronavirus.
According to the WHO, as on May 14, a total of over 4 million (43,68,603) confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported including over 1.5 million (15,61,799) recoveries and nearly 3 million (2,97,554) fatalities.