“This virus may never go away," says WHO while Hong Kong records three new COVID-19 cases

“This virus may never go away," says WHO while Hong Kong records three new COVID-19 cases
Source: Reuters

On Wednesday during an online briefing, the World Health Organization warned against predictions on when the pandemic would end saying that COVID-19 could potentially become an endemic virus.

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” said WHO’s emergencies expert, Mike Ryan.

“I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear. I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”

Ryan also acknowledged that even if a vaccine was found, vaccines for other illnesses such as measles exist. However, measles hasn’t been eliminated from our society.

“We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic,” said WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong also recorded three new cases, two local and one imported after 23 days of no new cases being reported. This brings the city’s total number of confirmed cases to 1,051.

According to Hong Kong health officials, a 66-year-old woman and her 5-year-old granddaughter, who live separately, were infected. The third case was imported from Pakistan. The new cases indicate the difficulty in eliminating an outbreak.

However, Hong Kong health officials also added that they currently have no intention of bringing back the stricter social distancing regulations.

Meanwhile, New Zealand reported no new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row, and Thailand also recorded no new cases in a day for the first time in more than two months.

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