The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) says he hopes the coronavirus pandemic will be over in under two years.
Speaking in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Spanish flu of 1918 had taken two years to overcome.
But he added that current advances in technology could enable the world to halt the virus “in a shorter time”.
“Of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” he said.
“But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it,” he noted, stressing the importance of “national unity, global solidarity”.
The flu of 1918 killed at least 50 million people.
Coronavirus has so far killed almost 800,000 people and infected nearly 23 million.
Prof Sir Mark Walport, a member of the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) – on Saturday said that Covid-19 was “going to be with us forever in some form or another”.
“So, a bit like flu, people will need re-vaccination at regular intervals,” he told the BBC.
What can we learn from the Spanish Flu?
How they tried to curb a pandemic in 1918
In Geneva, Dr Tedros said corruption related to supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic was “unacceptable”, describing it as “murder”.
“If health workers work without PPE, we’re risking their lives. And that also risks the lives of the people they serve,” he added, in response to a question.
Although the question related to allegations of corruption in South Africa, a number of countries have faced similar issues.
More than 1,000 new deaths were announced in the US on Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 173,490.
What’s happening elsewhere?
On Friday, a number of countries announced their highest numbers of new cases in months.
South Korea recorded 324 new cases – its highest single-day total since March.
As with its previous outbreak, the new infections have been linked to churches, and museums, nightclubs and karaoke bars have now been closed in and around the capital Seoul in response.
Poland and Slovakia both announced record new daily infections on Friday, with 903 and 123 cases respectively, while Spain and France have seen dramatic increases in recent days.
In Africa, the average daily cases of coronavirus fell last week , in what the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong, described as a “sign of hope”.
The continent-wide daily average was 10,300 last week, down from 11,000 the week before.
Source: BBC NEWS