Physicians warn that the coronavirus pandemic may soon become endemic

Physicians with the World Health Organizations (WHO) warn the present coronavirus pandemic is likely to become endemic and warn that people will “learn to live with the pandemic.”

With ongoing researches and development for a coronavirus vaccine around the world, Physicians say that a successfully developed Covid-19 vaccine would likely not prevent the pandemic from becoming endemic. Therefore, it would be better for people to find a way to proceed with life, alongside the pandemic.

According to the WHO, clinical evaluations are ongoing for dozens of candidate vaccines, as many drug makers scramble to develop vaccines and treatments that could end the pandemic. Many governments have also contributed to the development of coronavirus vaccines by funding selected companies.

So far, more than 41 million people around the world have been infected with the virus, with 1.13 million Covid-19 related deaths, according to data by John Hopkins University.

Dr. David Heymann, former leader of the WHO infectious disease during the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, said he is certain that “this [pandemic] will become endemic.” This means that the coronavirus infection rate, like other before it, may likely stabilize and become part of communities for all times.

“The difficulty right now is that in many countries, they are looking forward to a vaccine which may or may not come, which may or may not be effective in the short or long term, and they are looking at possible therapeutic (options) which could solve many of the problems,” Heymann said on Wednesday. “But it’s not a good way to proceed at present… We have to learn to live with the pandemic.”

In the meantime, WHO recommends that people should continue to practice social distancing, at least 1 meter from others, and disinfect high-touch surfaces. The organization also recommends cleanings hands thoroughly with soap and water, or hand sanitizers, often. Finally, to avoid touching the eyes, mouth, and nose.

The WHO earlier warned about the endemic possibility in May. The organization’s emergencies director, Dr. Mike Ryan during a press briefing warned against all forms of predicting whether the virus would disappear or not. He added that the issue wasn’t with developing an effective vaccine, but controlling the virus will demand a “massive effort.”

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away,” Dr. Ryan said during a virtual conference from Geneva. “HIV has not gone away – but we have come to terms with the virus.

Dr. Ryan stated that there were more than 100 potential Covid-19 vaccines in development but no one “can predict when this disease will disappear.” He said there are other diseases such as measles that have been around for many years despite there being vaccines for them.

While full control of the coronavirus is uncertain, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said it was possible to still control the spread of the virus.

“The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic,” Adhanom said.  


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