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‘COVID will end this year but…’ WHO chief scientist on future after pandemic


As we step into the 3rd year of the pandemic, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan described what life would be like after COVID saying, “we can’t definitely go on living as we used to in 2019, of course, we will have to be more cautious in the future.” Further, hinting that COVID might end this year, she said, “at least we will get over the health impacts of coronavirus.”

Will COVID end this year?

Speaking on this, WHO chief scientist said, we will come through it, we will get out of it, but I think it will take longer than people are currently planning. They think that they will be out of the pandemic by the end of this year. Yes, we will get over the health impacts of coronavirus. We won’t get rid of the virus, but we will learn to live with it, like other respiratory viruses.

“But it is the other impact on economy and society that we have to think about.” 

What will the future be like after the COVID?  

We have to stop thinking about going back to living like we lived in 2019, but imagine a new future where we would be very cautious about new variants. Then we will have a much better surveillance system globally. 

Also, we will continue to put our masks on. Even if you have had ordinary flu, it is always good to keep your mask on. 

In his December 31 address last year,  WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was optimistic that the Covid-19 pandemic will end in 2022 only if inequity ends. He had said in a statement, “as enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m confident that this will be the year we end it – but only if we do it together”.

He added, “while no country is out of the woods from the pandemic, we have many new tools to prevent and treat Covid-19. The longer inequity continues, the higher the risks of this virus evolving in ways we can’t prevent or predict. If we end inequity, we end the pandemic”.



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