Experts at the World Health organization warn for a possibly grim outcome of the pandemic before a vaccine is out. The current death toll from the COVID-19 disease could double by the time a vaccine is ready for the jab, WHO said Friday.
“Unless we do it all, the number you speak about (2 million cases) is not only imaginable but unfortunately and sadly, very likely,” UN’s head of the emergency program, Mike Ryan told media in a briefing addressing the impending doom if healthcare protocols are not maintained.
The novel coronavirus, which is thought to have broken out in Wuhan, China in November 2019 was only announced a pandemic by WHO in March 2020, four months later.
Now, ten months after the virus first began to spread in China, and gradually around the world, nearly 1 million people (98k plus) have already died from the disease, which affects the respiratory tract of the host and is airborne.
Despite the technological and medical advancement, the virus simply cut short all the measures available to humans even at this age of peak development and has infected over 31 million people globally.
Over 100 potential vaccines are under development across the world in nations like the UK, US, China, Italy, Russia, India among others, with healthcare having to make use of symptom-management treatments in the absence of a vaccine.
A second wave surge of the pandemic has already begun in many parts of the world, especially in the Northern hemisphere with the winter approaching and easing lockdowns in many countries.
Health care authorities like the WHO, CDC, and NHS has warned for a potentially dangerous outcome as winters force people indoors in larger numbers, making a cozy ground for the virus to spread.
While the US, India, and Brazil lead the pandemic with the most number of recorded confirmed cases, European nations are seeing a recent surge in cases like in the UK, France, and other nations, forcing governments to mull another sweeping lockdown like March.
UK PM Boris Johnson however ensured the nation will not incur a strict lockdown like the beginning of the pandemic while announcing newly implemented restrictions that will force the citizens to wear a mask in public among others.
The US President further downplayed the need for lockdown and said referring to the UK’s announcement, the US won’t incur a lockdown either.
WHO addressing the media at the Geneva headquarters also said the organization is in talks with China for a possible partnership in the COVAX facility that guarantees distribution of vaccine to all the partner nations.
The USA has previously denied joining the COVAX facility over allegations to WHO and China for delaying the response on the pandemic when it first surfaced in November last year.
Reuters noted Taiwan has recently signed the deal with COVAX even though it is not a WHO member State, meaning now the facility has a total of 159 participants, including some high-income nations like Japan and France.
The condition of the pandemic in the US and India – two of the world’s worst-hit nations, remains challenging with tens of thousands of new cases emerging daily.
The US, India, and Brazil together comprise 436,557 deaths of the 983,169 global total, meaning nearly fifty percent of the total death-rates.