WHO’s Chief Hopes To Finish Coronavirus Pandemic In Less Than Two Years, Experts Weigh In

WHO’s Chief Hopes To Finish Coronavirus Pandemic In Less Than Two Years, Experts Weigh In

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO said that in the fight against COVID-19 there are disadvantages and advantages especially in terms of technology to take on the pandemic
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WHO’s Chief Hopes To Finish Coronavirus Pandemic In Less Than Two Years, Experts Weigh InSpanish flu or the 1918 pandemic lasted for more than two years
Highlights
  • Coronavirus can move fast because we are more connected: Dr Tedros
  • Technology and knowledge can help in stopping COVID, said Dr Tedros
  • WHO Chief called to be cautious; said vaccine won’t end the pandemic

New Delhi: In a media briefing on August 21, the World Health Organisation (WHO) hoped to eradicate the Novel Coronavirus in less than two years’ time, faster than it took to eliminate the Spanish flu of 1918. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General at the WHO was answering a journalist’s question on the similarities between the 1918 pandemic and the Coronavirus pandemic. Drawing comparison between the two, Dr Tedros asserted that while COVID-19 can spread faster because of the connectedness between people, it can also be tamed with the help of technology and knowledge. Dr Tedros informed that it took two years (February 1918 to April 1920) to get over the 1918 pandemic and said,

Now is more connectedness, the virus has a better chance of spreading; it can move fast because we are more connected but at the same time, we have technology and knowledge to stop it. We have a disadvantage of globalisation, closeness, connectedness but an advantage of technology. So we hope to finish this pandemic in less than two years especially if we can pull our efforts together.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Is A Coronavirus And COVID-19?

Dr Tedros noted that national unity and global solidarity is the key to fighting the Coronavirus and called for utilising the available tools and said,

(By) utilising the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccines, I think we can finish it in a shorter time than the 1918 flu.

Elaborating on the other part of the question, how long the 1918 flu lasted, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead COVID-19, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said,

1918 pandemic was a novel strain of influenza and it circulated over a number of years. There were several waves of the pandemic impacting the globe. Once the really intense transmission was over, the virus circulated for decades till another strain replaced it.

Dr Maria noted that the similarities are in the way that both 1918 pandemic and COVID-19 are respiratory pathogens and many interventions that were deployed then are being followed now.

As on August 26, the Coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 8 lakh lives across the world. According to the WHO, Spanish flu was particularly virulent, and killed an estimated 400 lakh worldwide.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Is The Difference Between Pandemic And Epidemic?

Public Health Experts Resonate With WHO’s ‘Optimistic’ Thought

Talking about ending Coronavirus, Dr KK Aggarwal, President CMAAO (Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania) and Medtalks, HCFI (Heart Care Foundation of India) and Past National President IMA (Indian Medical Association), said,

WHO’s comment is fine and medically possible. Ending doesn’t mean there will not be even a single case. Like we are saying that Dharavi has overcome this, means cases are coming in single or double digit. They are controlled. Also, in India, the mortality is controlled when compared to 1918 pandemic that killed around 2 crore Indians.

Talking about the Spanish flu, how it impacted the world, and COVID-19 disease pattern, Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said,

It took three waves for the disease to affect most of the susceptible individuals and then settled down into probably seasonal viral flu. Very often the pandemic virus settles into seasonal virus but coronavirus is not displaying similar wave like pattern. Clearly, when the disease is not under control it jumps straight back up. From that perspective, the classic wave pattern of 1918 was very clear. The second wave was the most impactful in terms of deaths and hospitalisation particularly in the United States.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Are The Different Stages Of COVID-19 Transmission

Dr Giridhara R Babu, Professor and Head, Lifecourse Epidemiology, Indian Institute of Public Health, PHFI, Bengaluru agreed with Dr Tedros and said that there is a possibility in eliminating COVID-92 within two years but it is a very optimistic expectation and several challenges exist in succeeding in this goal. Elaborating on the challenges, Dr Babu said,

Currently, the challenge is that if we have a vaccine, how will we address the equitable distribution of the vaccine. There is also a huge manpower issue in rolling out either vaccination programmes, or surveillance, or contact tracing. In all urban areas we have the same problem of not being able to find cases on time, not trace the contacts on time, these are all new challenges due to a large population.

Contrary to this, Dr Ravindra M. Mehta is the Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru said that Dr Tedros’ expectations are based on some mathematical model. However, he agreed that the intensity of the virus will definitely come down. He also agreed with Dr Tedros’ remarks on advantages we have in the fight against COVID-19 when compared to Spanish flu and said,

There is a chance of vaccine which we never had during Spanish flu. We have better healthcare infrastructure, studies to understand the spread of the virus, better communication between health bodies and implementation of advisories and strategies. Together these things will help in containing the disease and the cases will come down but masks and social distancing will go on for some time.

Also Read: Here’s What The Government Means When It Asks You To Practice Social Distancing As A Precaution Against COVID-19

Further elaborating on the differences and similarities between the two pandemics, Dr Babu said, that back in 1918 there was a lack of awareness, the dissemination between WHO to government, government to periphery was not channelised, there was a major issue of lack of infrastructure and resources.

Explaining the similarities, Dr Babu said,

The nature of the infection and the virus itself; the way it spreads in groups, in closed spaces, people who don’t wear masks. So, it’s a reflection of the behaviour of the people.

The experts believe that the world is better equipped to fight the Coronavirus pandemic and beat it.

Also Read: Precautions To Take Till Airborne Transmission Of COVID-19 Is Further Researched And WHO Assesses The ‘Emerging Evidence’

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

4,12,26,932Cases
1,19,76,185Active
2,81,19,448Recovered
11,31,299Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 189 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 4,12,26,932 and 11,31,299 have died; 1,19,76,185 are active cases and 2,81,19,448 have recovered as on October 22, 2020 at 4:03 am.

India

77,06,946 55839Cases
7,15,812 -24278Active
68,74,518 79415Recovered
1,16,616 702Deaths
In India, there are 77,06,946 confirmed cases including 1,16,616 deaths. The number of active cases is 7,15,812 and 68,74,518 have recovered as on October 22, 2020 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

16,17,658 8,142

1,59,346 15,409

14,15,679 23,371

42,633 180

DistrictCases
Kurnool795
Krishna557
Guntur511
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Chittoor319
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Y.S.R.205
West Godavari199
Srikakulam183
Prakasam104
Visakhapatnam103
Vizianagaram23

7,93,299 3,746

32,376 1,020

7,54,415 4,739

6,508 27

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

7,82,773 5,872

1,00,459 3,505

6,71,618 9,289

10,696 88

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

6,97,116 3,086

35,480 1,254

6,50,856 4,301

10,780 39

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

4,61,475 2,321

29,364 1,052

4,25,356 3,332

6,755 41

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kasaragod333
Palakkad224
Malappuram119
Kollam118
Thrissur106
Thiruvananthapuram104
Pathanamthitta98
Kozhikode90
Alappuzha76
Kottayam73
Ernakulam60
Idukki40
Wayanad36

3,61,841 8,369

93,527 1,504

2,67,082 6,839

1,232 26

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

3,40,436 3,686

24,117 195

3,10,191 3,444

6,128 47

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

3,33,126 4,069

35,579 409

2,91,303 3,596

6,244 64

DistrictCases
Ganjam581
Jajapur322
Khordha238
Baleshwar190
Kendrapara164
Cuttack155
Bhadrak137
Balangir129
Puri103
Sundargarh102
Jagatsinghapur91
Nayagarh86
Mayurbhanj73
Nuapada69
Gajapati61
Dhenkanal36
Boudh34
Kendujhar34
Deogarh33
Kalahandi33
Sonepur29
Kandhamal28
Anugul26
Malkangiri20
Bargarh16
Koraput16
Sambalpur16
Jharsuguda8
Nabarangpur2
Rayagada2

2,74,181 1,931

18,087 798

2,54,913 2,716

1,181 13

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

2,27,580 1,456

20,183 266

2,06,105 1,717

1,292 5

DistrictCases
Patna279
Bhagalpur266
Rohtas256
Khagaria253
Begusarai243
Madhubani199
Munger188
Jehanabad178
Katihar175
Darbhanga143
Samastipur139
Siwan139
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Banka134
Buxar134
Nalanda123
Gopalganj123
Nawada122
Sheikhpura118
Gaya115
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Bhojpur103
Saran101
Muzaffarpur96
Saharsa88
Supaul87
Vaishali87
Madhepura82
Kishanganj75
Aurangabad75
Sitamarhi73
Lakhisarai72
Araria68
Pashchim Champaran57
Arwal52
Jamui47
Sheohar20

2,08,377 972

11,118 230

1,96,240 1,194

1,019 8

DistrictCases
Kamrup Metro276
Golaghat203
Nagaon143
Hojai89
Dima Hasao86
Karimganj85
Tinsukia84
Cachar80
Dibrugarh61
Hailakandi57
Lakhimpur57
Marigaon50
Dhemaji47
Kamrup42
Kokrajhar37
Dhubri30
Charaideo29
Barpeta28
Udalguri28
Sonitpur27
Jorhat24
Nalbari23
Darrang20
Sivasagar20
Goalpara19
Biswanath16
Baksa14
KarbiAnglong13
Bongaigaon12
Chirang6
West KarbiAnglong5
South SalmaraMancachar4
Majuli2

2,02,774 701

25,807 968

1,76,078 1,664

889 5

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

1,78,933 1,810

19,185 1,069

1,57,960 2,865

1,788 14

DistrictCases
Bilaspur100
Korba100
Mungeli87
Baloda Bazar85
Jashpur77
Janjgir-Champa56
Mahasamund54
Rajnandgaon52
Kabirdham52
Raigarh47
Raipur46
Balod41
Korea39
Durg31
Bemetara21
Kanker19
Balrampur17
Surguja14
Gariyaband10
Surajpur9
Dhamtari6
Bijapur2
Bastar2
Dantewada0
Kondagaon0
Narayanpur0
Sukma0

1,67,639 2,360

25,795 86

1,40,216 2,230

1,628 44

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

1,63,296 1,118

12,386 121

1,48,082 1,222

2,828 17

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

1,62,823 1,137

14,193 52

1,44,970 1,180

3,660 9

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

1,53,367 1,193

10,187 109

1,41,506 1,070

1,674 14

DistrictCases
Amritsar485
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Tarn Taran163
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
S.A.S Nagar137
Patiala132
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Pathankot86
Rupnagar (Ropar)74
Faridkot74
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Moga65
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Firozepur50
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Barnala25

1,29,088 498

4,808 87

1,20,220 562

4,060 23

DistrictCases
East Singhbum170
Ranchi148
Hazaribagh110
Garhwa80
Ramgarh75
Koderma58
Simdega48
Dhanbad32
Gumla28
Palamu27
West Singhbhum21
SaraikelaKharsawan20
Giridih19
Bokaro16
Latehar14
Khunti10
Lohardaga8
Deoghar5
Dumka5
Pakur4
Jamtara2
Godda2
Chatra1
Sahebganj0

98,061 647

6,206 26

91,004 619

851 2

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Srinagar300
Kulgam295
Baramulla271
Shopian255
Kupwara231
Bandipora175
Udhampur155
Ramban151
Jammu138
Budgam110
Pulwama108
Kathua53
Rajouri39
Ganderbal37
Poonch35
Doda27
Reasi26
Samba25
Kishtwar10
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0

89,582 624

8,088 36

80,092 655

1,402 5

DistrictCases
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Tehri Garhwal110
Haridwar94
Udam Singh Nagar83
Almora71
Champawat45
Pithoragarh43
Chamoli36
PauriGarhwal36
Bageshwar31
Rudraprayag30
Uttar Kashi24

59,106 505

5,085 279

53,061 770

960 14

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

41,339 308

3,099 102

37,683 408

557 2

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

33,622 170

4,026 75

29,016 242

580 3

DistrictCases
Dhalai196
Sepahijala174
Gomati74
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45
Khowai24
North Tripura14

29,925 125

2,339 116

27,252 239

334 2

DistrictCases
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Una41
Solan32
Chamba29
Bilaspur21
Mandi21
Sirmaur11
Shimla10
Kullu4
Kinnaur2
Lahaul And Spiti0

19,621 264

2,636 40

16,706 219

279 5

DistrictCases
Churachandpur32
Kangpokpi26
Imphal West21
Thoubal18
Imphal East10
Tengnoupal9
Bishnupur7
Senapati6
Chandel5
Kamjong5
Ukhrul4
Jiribam3
Pherzawl3
Kakching2
Tamenglong2
Noney1

16,267 205

3,846 36

12,297 238

124 3

DistrictCases
Changlang31
Papum Pare8
Lohit3
Namsai2
West Siang1
East Siang1
Upper Siang1
Tawang1
PakkeKessang1
West Kameng0
Upper Subansiri0
Tirap0
Siang0
Shi Yomi0
Anjaw0
Lower Subansiri0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Longding0
Leparada0
KurungKumey0
KraDaadi0
Kamle0
East Kameng0
Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0

13,912 134

2,682 30

11,199 164

31

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

13,795 52

744 66

12,842 118

209

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
West Garo Hills5
South West Garo Hills4
North Garo Hills1
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Khasi Hills0

8,621 28

1,870 150

6,674 177

77 1

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Mon8
Kohima7
Kiphire3
Tuensang3
Peren2
Phek1
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

8,139 119

1,683 25

6,428 94

28

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

5,781 86

848 7

4,865 78

68 1

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

4,168 27

199 16

3,913 11

56

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

3,677 34

253 1

3,361 35

63

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,207 13

44 5

3,161 8

2

DistrictCases
Kolasib11
Aizawl10
Mamit8
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Saitual1
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Saiha0
Serchhip0

2,341 31

167 22

2,174 9

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DistrictCases
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