KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that there is no guaranteed way of easing lockdown measures without generating a second wave of Covid-19.
WHO emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan cautioned global government authorities against predictions of when the coronavirus would vanish.
“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 Dr Ryan at a virtual press conference from Geneva yesterday, as cited by BBC News.
“HIV has not gone away, but we have come to terms with the virus,” he explained.
He further added that controlling the coronavirus will continue to require a “massive effort” even if a vaccine is found. Currently, more than 100 potential Covid-19 vaccines are under development worldwide.
Dr Ryan pointed out that there are other diseases, such as measles, that have not been eliminated despite vaccines’ availability, as cited by Reuters.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasised that the control of the virus is possible with effort.
“The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic,” he said, as cited by BBC News.
WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove told the briefing: “We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic.”
“There is some magical thinking going on that lockdowns work perfectly and that unlocking lockdowns will go great. Both are fraught with dangers,” said Dr Ryan at the press conference.
WHO’s comments came after several countries began to ease their lockdown measures in an effort to reopen their economies, and this includes Malaysia.
On May 4, Malaysia embarked on a new phase of movement restrictions named Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in order to restart the economy that has stalled for the past two months. The country has since entered the second phase of a four-week long CMCO on May 13.