WHO chief hopes coronavirus pandemic will last less than two years
August 22, 2020 08:06 AM NPT
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS
GENEVA, Aug 22: The World Health Organization hopes the coronavirus pandemic will be shorter than the 1918 Spanish flu and last less than two years, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday, if the world unites and succeeds in finding a vaccine.
The WHO has always been cautious about giving estimates on how quickly the pandemic can be dealt with while there is no proven vaccine.
Tedros said the 1918 Spanish flu “took two years to stop”.
“And in our situation now with more technology, and of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast because we are more connected now,” he told a briefing in Geneva.
“But at the same time we have also the technology to stop it and the knowledge to stop it. So we have a disadvantage of globalisation, closeness, connectedness but an advantage of better technology.
“So we hope to finish this pandemic (in) less than two years.”
He urged “national unity” and “global solidarity”.
“That is really key with utilising the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccine.”
More than 22.81 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally since it was first identified in China last year and 793,382 have died, according to a Reuters tally.