The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that it is unlikely the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will end in 2021.
Mr Michael Ryan, Director of WHO’s health emergencies programme, at a news conference on Tuesday said, ”I think it will be very premature and unrealistic to think that we are going to finish with this virus by the end of the year.
“What we can finish with if we are smart is hospitalisations, deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic,’’
Ryan added that WHO’s focus at present was to keep transmissions as low as possible and vaccinate more and more people.
According to the official, delivery of vaccine doses has improved compared to 10 weeks ago, although there are `huge challenges’ in distributing them.
“If the vaccines begin to impact not only on death and hospitalisation, but have a significant impact on transmission dynamics and transmission risk, then I believe we will accelerate towards controlling this pandemic,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria now has 156,017 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
It has also recorded 1,915 deaths.
The country also received its first ever vaccines on Tuesday