Live with it, chances of eliminating COVID unlikely, warns WHO

Had the world acted early, the virus could have been contained forever, but now it is mutating and will settle down like any other influenza virus

WHO, the global health watchdog, had said earlier that vaccines aren’t a sure way to eradicate COVID-19.

Here’s some bad news for those who wished coronavirus can be defeated.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday (September 7) that COVID-19 is “here to stay with us”.

Had the world acted early, the coronavirus could have been contained forever. A WHO official said. “We had a chance in the beginning of this pandemic,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said Tuesday. “This pandemic did not need to be this bad.”

Currently, the global health watchdog foresees the virus mutate further, despite mass vaccination, and thinks it will eventually settle down like any other influenza pandemic virus.

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Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, said, “I think this virus is here to stay with us and it will evolve like influenza pandemic viruses, it will evolve to become one of the other viruses that affects us.”

“People have said we’re going to eliminate or eradicate the virus,” Ryan said. “No we’re not, very, very unlikely.”

Also read: COVID impact: Private schools lost a quarter of students to govt institutions

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and Stephane Bancel, CEO of Covid vaccine maker Moderna, too have said that the world needs to learn to live with COVID, much like influenza.

The WHO said earlier that vaccines aren’t a sure way to eradicate COVID-19.

Meanwhile, countries of WHO Southeast Asia region, on Tuesday, adopted a declaration resolving to strengthen health system resilience to ensure health security, and achieve universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goals for health.

“Strong health systems that are primary health care-oriented, and which leave no one behind, create populations that are healthier, more productive and financially secure. Resilient health systems are the bedrock of emergency preparedness and response, and ensure that when acute events like COVID occur, essential health services can be maintained,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO Southeast Asia.

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