The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may never go away, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization health emergencies program, says the virus may just become one of the viruses around the world that kill people annually.
“This virus just may become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV hasn’t gone away,” Ryan said on Wednesday.
“We’ve come to terms with the virus and we have found the therapies and we have found the prevention methods, and people don’t feel as scared as they did before.
“There are no promises in this and there are no dates”.
HIV/AIDS was first clinically observed in 1981 in the United States, it has gone on to kill nearly a million people and has infected over 38 million people across the world.
Over 30 years on, no vaccine has been found for HIV, but research is ongoing to beat the disease.
Ryan said with a vaccine, “we may have a shot at eliminating this virus but that vaccine will have to be available, it will have to be highly effective, it will have to be made available to everyone and we’ll have to use it.
“I’m not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we’re realistic. I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear.
“This disease may settle into a long-term problem or it may not be.”
Coronavirus has infected over 4.4 million people globally, and has killed nearly 300,000 people as of May 13, 2020.