WHO hopes pandemic will last less than two years

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expresses hope the COVID-19 pandemic will be shorter than the 1918 Spanish flu.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that the WHO hopes the coronavirus pandemic will be shorter than the 1918 Spanish flu and last less than two years.

Tedros said the 1918 Spanish flu "took two years to stop".

"And in our situation now with more technology, and of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast because we are more connected now," he told a briefing in Geneva, as quoted by Reuters.

"But at the same time we have also the technology to stop it and the knowledge to stop it. So we have a disadvantage of globalization, closeness, connectedness but an advantage of better technology. So we hope to finish this pandemic (in) less than two years," added Tedros, who urged "national unity" and "global solidarity".

"That is really key with utilizing the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccine."

More than 22.81 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally since it was first identified in China last year and 793,382​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

On Thursday, Russia announced that it will launch a mass trial of its first coronavirus vaccine next week. The trial will involve approximately 40,000 people.

The vaccine, which has been dubbed “Sputnik V” in honor of the first satellite launched into orbit by the Soviet Union, was announced earlier this month. The Russian government claims it is the first coronavirus vaccine in the world and that it is perfectly safe.

In the US, drug giant Pfizer and its partner BioNTech recently began an advanced trial of one of their experimental coronavirus vaccines in volunteers. Before that, Moderna started a Phase 3 trial in the United States of its experimental vaccine.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)