The World Health Organization’s Europe director says the COVID-19 crisis won’t necessarily end with a vaccine, but with societies learning how to live with it.
In an interview with British broadcaster SKY News Wednesday, WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge said the governments that take an active leadership role and embrace public health and social measures will have the most success moving beyond the COVID-19 crisis. He said, “That could happen tomorrow.”
Kluge understands that economies have been badly hurt by lockdowns and shutdowns, but every approach has its risks.
Like many other health experts, Kluge predicts new surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the colder months approach and people are indoors. But he said it will not be like early in the pandemic when governments were taken by surprise.
He said, “Now, we target the virus. We can manage transmission, manage our economies and open the education sector and that's good news."
Kluge said for that reason, he is optimistic that while the virus will not be gone, nations now have tools to deal with it. He said people must continue to avoid mass gatherings, use masks and testing capacity must be improved, along with tracking and tracing, and localized lockdowns must be an option.
“We have to be prepared for this in a positive manner," he said.