WHO experts warn of ‘hard road ahead’ to beat COVID-19 pandemic

at 10:38 am
WHO experts warn of ‘hard road ahead’ to beat COVID pandemic
WHO's emergencies director, Mike Ryan

New Delhi (NVI): World Health Organization experts have warned that there could be three or six months of “hard, hard road ahead” in 2021 before vaccines turn the tide against the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies director, while addressing a live event, said there had been a wave of expectation when vaccines began to trickle on stream last month, but people could not breathe a sigh of relief and slacken their vigilance against the disease.

“We’re all a year into this. It’s a really, really long battle,” he said, adding, “We’ve got another three or six months of hard, hard road ahead of us. But we can do it.”

“The cavalry is coming, the vaccines are coming — but they’re not here yet, for most people in the world.”

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said that in many countries, the situation was very worrying — and would get worse.

“A handful of countries are really seeing incredibly intense transmission,” notably in Europe and North America, with “some really scary numbers in terms of cases, hospitalisations and admissions to intensive care units”, she said.

Social mixing of households over the Christmas and New Year have resulted in a further rise in case numbers, Maria told a live event on WHO social media channels.

“We are starting to see it now; we will see it in the coming weeks. In many countries, we will see the situation will get worse before it gets better,” she added.

So far, more than 87.1 million coronavirus infections have been reported across the globe while more than 1,883,000 people have lost their lives from the deadly contagion.