The new coronavirus could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may just become another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never disappear,” said WHO emergency specialist Mike Ryan at a virtual press conference.
Without giving dates, Mike Ryan explained that the world has some control over how it deals with the disease, although it is a “big effort”, even though there is a vaccine – a goal he described as difficult to achieve. The expert also noted that there are vaccines for other diseases, such as measles, which have not yet been eradicated.
The Director-General of WHO said, in the same press conference, that “it is in our hands and is everyone’s responsibility, and we must all contribute to ending this pandemic”. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that health cannot be turned into a weapon and made a minute of silence by professionals in the sector who die “to save lives”.
The warning was left a day after International Nurses Day, but also hours after an attack on a hospital belonging to Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan, which killed more than two dozen people, including children and nurses.
Tedros Ghebreyesus said he was shocked and very saddened by the news of the attack and added that health professionals, and civilians, should never be a target and that the world needs peace for health and health for peace.
“In a time of global pandemic, I ask everyone to put politics aside and give priority to peace, and that there be a global ceasefire to end the pandemic. Every day without a ceasefire, more people are dying unnecessarily, ”he warned at the press conference, designed to account for the evolution of the new coronavirus, which causes the covid-19 disease.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of the vulnerability of detainees to covid-19 and also recalled the latest world statistics to say that if, on the one hand today, people live longer and healthier, an evolution especially in poor countries, on the other hand rate of progress is very slow, with covid-19 making matters worse.
Asked by journalists about the border issue, Mike Ryan said that he does not consider that there are big risks in opening land borders between two countries that have the same type of management of the disease, warning that “it is more complex” to open air borders.
Globally, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 292,000 deaths and infected more than 4.2 million people in 195 countries and territories.