According to the WHO chief, COVID-19 will end faster than the 1918 “Spanish Flu” pandemic thanks to more advanced technology.
Rabat – The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed on Friday, August 21, its hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic lasts less than two years.
“We hope to finish this pandemic in less than two years. Especially if we can pool our efforts together with national unity and global solidarity. It is really key to utilize the available tools to the maximum, and hoping we can have additional tools like a vaccine,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adnahom in a press briefing.
Adnahom made the statement after comparing COVID-19 and the “Spanish Flu” pandemic, which killed over 50 million people between 1918 and 1920.
“I think we can finish [the COVID-19 pandemic] in a shorter time than the 1918 pandemic,” he said.
According to Adnahom, one of the main similarities between the SARS-CoV-2 virus, causing the COVID-19 pandemic, and the H1N1 virus that was behind the Spanish Flu is that they both cause respiratory diseases.
However, the WHO chief highlighted that widespread malnutrition and tuberculosis made populations more fragile during the 1918 pandemic, which led to its high death toll.
Today, pandemics can spread more quickly because “we are more connected,” which is a disadvantage, according to Adnahom. However, today’s world has the advantage of better technologies, the health expert said.
“With more connectedness, the virus has a better chance of spreading. It can move fast because we are more connected now. But at the same time, we also have the technology and the knowledge to stop it,” Adnahom said.
“So we have a disadvantage, of globalization, closeness, connectedness, but we have an advantage of better technology,” he reiterated.
At the end of the conference, the WHO chief stressed the importance of multilateral cooperation, urging countries to work together against the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of August 21, countries across the world have confirmed a total of over 23 million COVID-19 cases, including more than 800,000 deaths and 15 million recoveries.