The World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoy on COVID-19 said Tuesday that the coronavirus will ''be a constant threat" until a vaccine or reliable treatment is found.
In an interview with British broadcaster Sky News, Dr. David Nabarro said this means the world will need to learn how to live with it. The coronavirus causes the COVID-19 disease.
Nabarro said that while the world is focused on a vaccine, and there are promising signs, the WHO does believe one will be readily available “between one-and-a half and two-and-a-half years at the minimum.” He said social distancing regulations and protective measures will have to be followed for a very long time.
Nabarro said this does not mean life has to stop. He noted countries that are maintaining protective measures while people go about their business include Singapore, Germany, South Korea and some developing nations. He said other viruses are constant threats, adding that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has forced people to change their behavior.
Nabarro said the key to dealing with the coronavirus was to clamp down on infections by test, trace and contact procedures. Nabarro said, “Get the public health right, which means being able to defend against this virus by being able to find people with the disease quickly, using tests, and then isolate them and then the economy will be able to go on.”