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Published On: Thu, May 14th, 2020

‘Coronavirus May Never Go Away, May Become Just Like HIV ‘: WHO

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WHO ChiefNEW DELHI : As COVID-19 cases increase at an alarming rate across the world each day and nations struggle to prevent a second wave of infections, a top global health official warned on Wednesday that Coronavirus may become just another virus like the HIV infection, and may never go away, in the most dire such suggestion yet.
Amid the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases across the world, World Health Organisation (WHO) executive director Michael J Ryan on Wednesday (May 13) said the coronavirus may never go away and it could become just another virus like HIV infection.

“This virus just may become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV has not gone away,” Dr Ryan was quoted as saying by CNN.
“I am not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we are realistic. I do not think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear,” he added. “This virus just may become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV has not gone away,” Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO was quoted as saying by CNN.
Speaking on the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, the WHO official said that there is a chance to eliminate the virus, but a highly effective vaccine will have to be developed and made available to all. Without a vaccine, he said it could take years for the global population to build up sufficient levels of immunity. “I think it’s important to put this on the table,” Dr Ryan said.
According to the WHO, so far, a total of 4,170,424 number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported across the globe, including 287,399 fatalities. WHO had declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, and it has been providing daily situation report on the infection since January 21.
Ryan addedficial asserted that easing of coronavirus lockdowns while the number of fresh cases are increasing with each passing day could lead to the renewed massive transmission of the virus and force the governments to impose another lockdown to curb the spread of highly contagious viral disease.
“If you can get the day-to-day number to the lowest possible level and get as much virus out of the community as possible, then when you open, you will tend to have less transmission or much less risk. If you reopen in the presence of a high degree of virus transmission, then that transmission may accelerate,” Ryan was quoted as saying by Sputnik.
Referring to the incidences of attacks on ethnic minorities in certain countries over COVID-19, Ryan said that coronavirus is bringing the “best in us and also some of the worst in us.” On the issue of vaccine, he added, “we may have a shot at eliminating this virus but 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’ll have to use it.”
The coronavirus pandemic has now infected close to 44 lakh people globally with taking more than 2.95 lakh lives by Wednesday (May 13, 2020) evening. According to the Worldometers website, there are around 43,97,000 coronavirus confirmed cases in the world at the time of filing this report. Over 2,95,870 people have died due to the virus that was first reported in December 2019 in China.
(With Agency Inputs ).

 
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