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Coronavirus pandemic will be over under two years: WHO chief

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) hopes that 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.

While interacting 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.

On Friday, in Kenya’s capital Nairobi hundreds of front line workers went on a strike over unpaid wages and lack of protective equipment.

WHO’s chief also warned about the scale of the coronavirus outbreak in Mexico was “clearly under-recognised”.

Dr Mike Ryan said the equivalent of around three people per 100,000 were being tested in Mexico, compared with about 150 per 100,000 people in the US.

Mexico has the third highest number of deaths in the world, with almost 60,000 fatalities recorded since the pandemic began.