“This virus could become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV has not gone away,” said Ryan. “I’m not comparing the two diseases, but I think it’s important that we are realistic. I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear.”
“We may have a chance to eliminate this virus but that vaccine will have to be available, it will have to be highly effective, it will have to be made available to everyone and we will have to use it,” Ryan said. “This disease can arise in a long-term problem or it may not be.”
WHO epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove gave a more optimistic tone during Wednesday’s briefing.
“The trajectory of this outbreak is in our hands,” said Van Kerkhove. “The global community has come together to work in solidarity. We have seen countries under control of this virus. We have seen countries that use public health measures.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus echoed that sentiment, adding: “We should all help stop this pandemic.”