File photo: Agencies
The World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that he hopes the COVID-19 pandemic will last less than two years.
"Hoping we can have additional tools like a vaccine, I think we can finish it in a shorter time than the 1918 flu," he told a press conference in Geneva, referring to the Spanish flu pandemic which claimed millions of lives and took two years to stop.
Tedros warned that countries needed to continue suppressing coronavirus transmission until a vaccine or treatment is found. "But there's no guarantee that we will, and even if we do have a vaccine, it won't end the pandemic on its own," he added.
While the coronavirus can spread more easily than 100 years ago since the world is far more interconnected now, modern technology and knowledge have given humanity the tools to stop the pandemic more effectively, said the UN health chief.
Countries should implement effective health measures and people need to adjust their daily lives to avoid infections, he stressed.
More than 22.84 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed around the world with over 797,000 fatalities, according to the latest count by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.