Covid-19 Is Not Necessarily the Big One, WHO Warns
Experts from the World Health Organization have revealed that as punishing as the Coronavirus pandemic has been, it is “not necessarily the big one,” and that we may have to learn to live with it.
Vaccines for the disease are already in circulation in countries such as the US and the UK. However, according to Professor David Heymann, the chair of the Word Health Organization’s strategic and technical advisory group for infectious hazards, the virus is destined to become endemic.
A Low Level Endemic Threat
Covid-19 Is projected to go the way of four other human coronaviruses, become endemic and continue to mutate as it reproduces in human cells. Furthermore, the virus will most probably remain a threat, albeit a low-level threat, according to the head of the WHO emergencies program Dr. Mark Ryan.
Dr. Ryan further stated that even the existence of a highly effective vaccine is no guarantee of the eradication of a virus. That’s why the primary purpose of the vaccine is to save lives and protect the vulnerable before focus can shift to potentially eliminating or eradicating the virus.
Ryan also warned of another, more severe pandemic. According to him, even though this pandemic has been severe and has affected every corner of the planet, it is not necessarily the big one. He stated that threats of this kind will always exist, and it’s up to us to learn our lessons from them with a view to doing things better.
Social Distancing to Continue
Meanwhile, WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has said that public health and safety measures such as social distancing should be continued even after vaccination against the virus has been achieved. She revealed that the first role of the vaccine would be to prevent severe disease and death, but it remains to be seen whether the vaccine can reduce the rate of infection and the spread of the virus.