Last updated on May 19th, 2020
The World Health Organisation on Wednesday warned that the novel coronavirus, which has affected more than 4.2 million people globally, may never go away and humans will have to learn to live with it.
After almost two months of strict movement bans, some countries have now eased down the restrictions imposed during the lockdowns. However, the WHO’s new report claims that the virus may never be completely wiped out from the planet.
During a virtual press conference in Geneva, WHO’s emergencies director Michael Ryan said, “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.”
“This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV has not gone away — but we have come to terms with the virus,” he added.
On the other hand, the European Commission introduced a tourism and transport package on Wednesday. The package provides guidelines for the European Union member states to initially lift the internal travel restrictions after two months of lockdown, which was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The commission said that the package was made to “offer people the chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air,” and to allow people to visit their friends and family within the EU.
The coronavirus pandemic has largely affected the tourism sector worldwide. The hard-hit industry would take time to recover because even if travel bans are lifted, people would still live in fear of the virus. Moreover, the need to follow social distancing would continue for a long time since the virus is here to stay.
Almost 300,000 people have been killed by the coronavirus till now globally. The WHO has also warned that there is no way to guarantee that the easing down of restrictions may not evoke a second wave of infections.
“There is some magical thinking going on that lockdowns work perfectly and that unlocking lockdowns will go great. Both are fraught with dangers,” Ryan said.
At present, more than 100 potential vaccines are being developed and tested. However, Ryan warned that some diseases like measles also have vaccines but still haven’t been eliminated entirely.
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