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Hope to finish the Covid-19 pandemic in less than two years: WHO Chief

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 22, 2020

We have the technology and the knowledge to stop it, says WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is aiming to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control in less than two years, according to the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The WHO chief said at a press briefing on Friday that it aims to end the pandemic in a shorter time frame as compared to the 1918 Spanish flu.

Ghebreyesus explained that it took approximately two years for the 1918 pandemic to spread around the world and infect susceptible individuals. However, the virus is spreading faster during the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the primary reasons being globalisation. However, with the right tools and a vaccine in place, the pandemic can end in less than two years.

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,” he said. “We have the technology and the knowledge to stop it (Covid-19),” the WHO chief said. “We have a disadvantage of globalization, closeness, connectedness and advantage of technology. So we hope to finish this pandemic in less than two years,” he added.

That Spanish flu came in three waves, with the second wave being the most impactful explained WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan. “It took three waves for the disease to infect most of the susceptible individuals,” he said.

After that, the virus that caused the pandemic evolved into a much less deadly seasonal bug, which returned for decades. “Very often, a pandemic virus settles into a seasonal pattern over time,” Ryan said.

However in reference to Covid-19, “this virus is not displaying a similar wave-like pattern. Clearly, when the disease is not under control, it jumps straight back up,” he said.

Published on August 22, 2020

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