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WHO Chief Says Coronavirus Pandemic Could Be Over ‘Within Two Years’

by : Emily Brown on : 22 Aug 2020 10:51
WHO Chief Says Coronavirus Pandemic Could Be Over 'Within Two Years'PA Images

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed hopes the coronavirus pandemic could be over in fewer than two years. 

The outbreak of the disease prompted fast and unexpected changes to our day-to-day lives, forcing us to swap hugs for waves, family gatherings for Zoom calls and visits to the pub for quiet nights in.

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Many countries have taken measures to slowly get society back to some kind of normality, but we still have to protect ourselves against coronavirus by wearing masks, keeping our distance and using hand sanitizer at every opportunity.

Face Masks Are Breaking Facial Recognition Algorithms, Study FindsPA Images

As weeks turned into months, many people have been asking the same question: ‘When will it end?’ Well, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes the end of the pandemic could be in the relatively near future.

Speaking in Geneva, per Sky News, Ghebreyesus pointed out the Spanish flu of 1918 had taken two years to overcome, and said that current advances in technology could enable the world to halt coronavirus ‘in a shorter time’.

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He commented:

Of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading.

But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it.

Tedros Adhanom GhebreyesusPA Images

The chief stressed the importance of ‘national unity’ and ‘global solidarity’, and added that individuals must take their own responsibility for helping to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 22 million people have tested positive for coronavirus across the globe, and almost 800,000 people have died as a result of it.

Ghebreyesus said there is no guarantee that a coronavirus vaccine will be found, and said that even if one is produced it ‘won’t end the pandemic on its own’.

He explained:

We must all learn to control and manage this virus using the tools we have now, and to make the adjustments to our daily lives that are needed to keep ourselves and each other safe.

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Professor Sir Mark Walport, who is a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), told BBC Radio 4 that if a vaccine is found, repeat inoculations will be required to keep the virus at bay.

Professor Walport explained that while a vaccine may control the virus, it is not ‘going to be a disease like smallpox which could be eradicated’ altogether.

He continued:

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This is a virus that is going to be with us forever in some form or another and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations.

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The US is the country worst-hit by the disease, with more than 5,600,000 cases confirmed at the time of writing, August 22. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has condemned Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic and pledged to introduce a national mandate to wear masks if he is elected in November.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Health, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Now, Pandemic, World Health Organization

Credits

Sky News and 1 other
  1. Sky News

    Coronavirus: We hope this pandemic will be over in two years, WHO chief says

  2. Johns Hopkins University

    COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)