Coronavirus may remain like HIV, says WHO


On one side the entire world is struggling to fight and win against global pandemic, on the other Coronavirus may never go away and populations around the world will have to learn to live with it, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.


Michael Ryan, Director WHO health emergencies program, said that the coronavirus may become another endemic virus in the community and may never go away.


He said, just like the HIV has never gone away, there’s no clue as to when the novel coronavirus will disappear.


“HIV has never gone away. But we have found ways for those who have HIV to live long and healthy lives for a longer period of time. We have to be realistic; we don’t know when the disease will disappear. 


If we can find a highly effective vaccine which we can distribute to everyone in the world who needs it, we could have a shot at eliminating it [coronavirus],” Ryan said.


The virus first emerged in Wuhan in China late last year and has since infected more than 4.2 million people and killed nearly 3, 00,000 worldwide.


“We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it,” said Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies director.


“This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away,” he told a virtual press conference in Geneva.


More than half of humanity has been put under some form of lockdown since the coronavirus crisis began. But the WHO warned there was no way to guarantee that easing the restrictions would not trigger a second wave of infections.


“Many countries would like to get out of the different measures,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.


“But our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible.”


Ryan added that there was a “long, long way to go” on the path to returning to normal, insisting that countries would have to stay the course.