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It is ‘Premature’ and ‘Unrealistic’ to Think that COVID-19 will End this Year, Says WHO

World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies director Dr. Michael Ryan, through a media briefing on COVID-19 that was streamed live on the WHO’s official YouTube channel on Monday, March 1, 2021, stated that it will be “premature” and “unrealistic” to think that COVID-19 will end this year.

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Screenshot Source: World Health Organization (WHO)| Official YouTube

During the said media briefing, a reporter asked, “Can you see an end in sight for this pandemic by year’s end? Or is it likely to continue through 2022?” And that was the question Michael Ryan answered, saying:

“I think, it will be very premature, and I think unrealistic, to think that we’re going to finish with this virus by the end of the year. But I think, what we can, if we’re smart, finish with, is the hospitalizations, the deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic.”

– Michael Ryan, Emergencies Director at WHO

According to Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization is focusing on keeping the transmission as low as possible and getting as many people as possible vaccinated to take the fear and the tragedy out of the pandemic.

“WHO’s singular focus at the moment is to keep transmission as low as possible to suppress that transmission which will help prevent the emergence of variants but will also reduce the number of people who are sick and arrive in hospital and more importantly to get as many people as possible vaccinated, particularly those on the frontline and those who are vulnerable, so we can take the fear and the tragedy out of the pandemic,” Michael Ryan explained.

“I believe that we’re beginning to see data, important and significant data that shows that many of the vaccines do appear to impact and adjust the way the virus transmits and decrease the risk of individuals being infected or passing on that infection. That is really, really encouraging,” Ryan also added.

He also made mention during the media briefing that “if the vaccines begin to impact not only on death and not only on hospitalization but have a significant impact on transmission dynamics and transmission risk” then we will accelerate towards controlling the pandemic. However, WHO’s emergency director added that right now, “the virus is very much in control”.

Watch the Media Briefing on COVID-19 with WHO

Here is the media briefing on COVID-19 which was recently streamed by WHO in their official YouTube channel. Feel free to watch it from the beginning or start at 25:30 of the video to catch WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan answer whether or not the pandemic will end this year.

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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)| Official YouTube

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