W.H.O. Official Warns That Coronavirus ‘May Never Go Away’

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W.H.O. Official Warns That Coronavirus ‘May Never Go Away’

The World Health Organization’s head of health emergencies said the coronavirus causing Covid-19 could become a long-term threat to be managed, not one that can be eradicated.

There’s a long, long way to go before there’s going to be any bells unrung in this response. So I think we need to be clear about that. Countries, as you’ve seen, are trying to find a path out, and a path towards a new normal as many people have put it. And we’re going to be on that pathway for a long, long time. And as we’ve seen in some countries, even a small recurrence of disease can cause the need for a serious response. This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities. And this virus may never go away. H.I.V. has not gone away. We’ve come to terms with the virus. And we have found the therapies, and we found the prevention methods and people don’t feel as scared as they did before. I think it is important that we’re realistic, and I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear. 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, but that that vaccine will have to be available. It will have to be highly effective. It will have to be made available to everyone. And we will have to use it.

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