The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed hope that the coronavirus pandemic will be shorter than the 1918 Spanish flu and last less than 2 years, if the world unites and succeeds in finding a vaccine.
The disclosure was made by the Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a briefing in Geneva.
The UN health agency has always applied caution in giving estimates on how fast the coronavirus pandemic can be dealt with, especially when there is no proven vaccine.
This is coming against the backdrop of an earlier statement by the WHO’s emergency committee on COVID-19, that the pandemic is expected to have a longer duration and could be felt for decades. The WHO also expressed concerns that the pandemic could be prolonged due to activities of wealthier countries who are hoarding the vaccines and are focused on securing them for their citizens to the detriment of poorer countries.
The WHO boss 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 said in a briefing held 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 globalization, closeness, connectedness but an advantage of better technology. So we hope to finish this pandemic (in) less than two years.”
Tedros called for national unity and global solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Going further he said, “That is really key with utilizing the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccine.”