Coronavirus may never go away, WHO says

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus
WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The World Health organisation (WHO) warned on Wednesday that coronavirus may never go away and people will have to learn to live with it.

The warning from the UN health agency come even as some countries begin to ease social distancing restrictions that were enforced to curb the spread of the contagious 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,” WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan said.

“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.”

Dr Ryan said that just like HIV which has not gone away, the world must be prepared live with the new virus.


He said that even with a vaccine, it would take a massive effort to eliminate the virus, noting that some illnesses such as measles still exist despite having vaccines.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus also told the briefing that the virus can still be defeated.

"The trajectory is in our hands, and it's everybody's business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic," he said.

He added that countries easing restriction should still be on highest alert to avert a second wave.

Wednesday Kenya reported 22 new cases, bringing the total number to 737. Four more people died bringing total fatalities to 40.

The total number of patients discharged from hospital stands at 281 after 22 more recoveries were reported.