MUSCAT: The global coronavirus outbreak is the sort of disaster whose effects will last far into the future, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.
“The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come,” Tedros told a meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee, according to remarks released by the agency.
The pandemic has killed more than 670,000 people since emerging late last year in Wuhan, China, with more than 17 million cases diagnosed.
Meanwhile, more than about 150 pharmaceutical companies are working on vaccines, although their first use cannot be expected until early 2021, the WHO said last week,
“Although knowledge about the new virus has advanced, many questions remained unanswered and populations remain vulnerable”, Tedros said.
“Early results from serology (antibody) studies are painting a consistent picture: most of the world’s people remain susceptible to this virus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks,” he added.
Oman has so far confirmed 79,159 coronavirus cases, including 421 deaths.