August 22, 2020 - 10:44 AMT
WHO chief hopes coronavirus can be ended "in less than two years"

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said he hopes the coronavirus crisis can be ended in less than two years, The Independent reports.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, noted on Friday, August 21 that the Spanish flu pandemic which began in 1918 took two years to end.

“Our situation now with more technology, of course with more [connectivity] ... the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast,” Mr Tedros said.

“At the same time we have the technology and knowledge to stop it.”

Almost 23 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported around the world and more than 799,000 have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At the WHO’s media briefing on Friday, Tedros also warned that countries needed to continue to suppress Covid-19 transmission until a vaccine or treatment is found.

“No country can just ride this out until we have a vaccine,” the health chief said.

“A vaccine will be a vital tool, and we hope that we will have one as soon as possible.

“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.”

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