Areas of the world are beginning to emerge from the pandemic of COVID-19 disease and carefully resume a kind of normal life, but the new colonist will pose significant risks until vaccines are developed, a leading scientist in the World Health Organization said today.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergency program, said that while many countries remain in the eye of the storm, others are beginning to show that it is possible to reduce the disease to some degree.
“In that sense, there is hope,” Ryan said in an online interview with Reuters in Geneva.
“Globally, the situation remains very, very serious, but the pattern of the disease and the course of the virus are very different in different parts of the world at the moment,” he said.
“What we are learning is that it is possible to bring this disease under control and it is possible to start a normal economic and social life again, in a new way that we must follow in order to do so with extreme caution and vigilance.”
However, some countries in Africa and Central and South America are still recording “an upward trend” and although there may not seem to be much of a problem at the moment, test availability remains an issue, Mike Ryan added.
“We are in the middle of a battle for our lives. All of us around the world, “said the high-ranking WHO official.
“There will be a significant and extensive risk until we get to a point where we have a safe and effective vaccine available to everyone.”
As Ryan explained, countries such as China, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and others have come to what he described as a “stable situation” in relation to the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Europe and North America are beginning to emerge from “very severe epidemics” of the disease and are now trying to lead a safe exit from the severe restrictions on economic and social activities imposed a few months ago.
“It’s not that the virus can be completely defeated, but that we can get to a point where we can adequately control the virus so that our social and economic lives can start again,” Ryan said.
He reiterated that any government seeking to ease restrictions should do so with great care.