The head of the EU’s disease control agency warned Friday (Feb 12) that the novel coronavirus could last indefinitely even as global infections slowed by nearly half in the last month and vaccine rollouts gathered pace in parts of the world.
In an interview with AFP, ECDC chief Andrea Ammon urged European countries in particular not to drop their guard against a virus that “seems very well adapted to humans” and may require experts to tweak vaccines over time, as is the case with the seasonal flu.
“So we should be prepared that it will remain with us,” according to Ammon, head of the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
After the latest harsh wave of the pandemic, glimmers of hope flickered as an AFP database showed the rate of new COVID-19 infections has slowed by 44.5 per cent worldwide over the past month.
More than 107 million people have been infected worldwide and nearly 2.4 million have died from COVID-19.
But disease experts warned that vaccines won’t end the pandemic unless all countries receive doses in a fast and fair manner.
Writing in an open letter published in the Lancet medical journal, the authors said with vaccine stockpiling in wealthier countries, “it could be years before the coronavirus is brought under control at a global level”.