WHO hopes to end the Covid-19 pandemic "in less than two years"

 The World Health Organization on Friday expressed its hope that the world would be able to get rid of the Corona pandemic within less than two years, and in a faster period than that which took to eliminate the outbreak of the Spanish flu in 1918.

"We hope to end this pandemic less than two years ago," the organization’s director, Drus Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told reporters in Geneva, stressing that the new Corona virus could be controlled much faster compared to the deadly 1918 pandemic.

Ghebreyesus acknowledged that compared to that era, the world today faces obstacles of "globalization, intimacy and connections" that helped the virus spread around the world at lightning speed.

But the world today also enjoys the advantage of having much more advanced technology, according to Ghebreyesus.

He added that "by making use of the available tools to the maximum and hoping to obtain additional tools such as vaccines, I believe that we can end the pandemic in less time than it took the 1918 flu."

To date, Covid-19 has killed about 800,000 people and injured nearly 23 million around the world, according to an AFP census based on official sources.

So far, the Spanish flu is the most deadly pandemic in the history of the modern world, as it killed about 50 million and infected 500 million others around the world between February 1918 and April 1920.

The number of deaths due to influenza has reached five times those killed during the First World War, and the first victims were recorded in the United States.

That pandemic came in three waves, and the second deadly wave was in the second half of 1918.

"The disease required three waves to affect most of the exposed individuals," said Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program.

After that, the Spanish influenza virus that caused the pandemic evolved into another, less lethal season.

"Often times the virus that causes a pandemic ends into a typical seasonal wave with the passage of time," Ryan added.

However, he warned that so far, the Corona virus "does not show a similar wave pattern. It is clear that when it is not under control, it jumps to return again."


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