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COVID-19 pandemic unlikely to end in 2021 – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is unlikely the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will end in 2021.

Mike Ryan
Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme

“I think it will be very premature and unrealistic to think that we are going to finish with this virus by the end of the year.

“What we can finish with – if we are smart – is hospitalisations, deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic,’’ Mr Michael Ryan, Director of WHO’s health emergencies programme, said at a news conference on Tuesday, March 2.

Ryan said that WHO’s focus at present was to keep transmissions as low as possible and vaccinate more and more people.

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According to the official, delivery of vaccine doses has  improved compared to 10 weeks ago although there are “huge challenges” in distributing them.

“If the vaccines begin to impact not only on death and hospitalisation, but have a significant impact on transmission dynamics and transmission risk, then I believe we will accelerate toward controlling this pandemic,’’ Ryan said.


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