Report claims that COVID-19 may last for two more years

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According to the recent report which was published on Thursday, experts claim that the coronavirus pandemic will last for around two years. They further said that this deadly pandemic will remain uncontrollable until two-third of the population worldwide i.e. around 60-70% of the people get immunized against the virus. The researchers and experts believe that the virus will result in a much larger wave of COVID-19 infections during the fall and winter season.

The experts working on this repost pointed out three scenarios that how the coronavirus pandemic will continue. Out of these three, the worst-case scenario was regarding the spread of the disease with a larger wave of infection during fall and winter.

UNCONTROLLABLE PANDEMIC:

Researchers and scientists are unable to control the spread of SARS-COV-2 strain because in some people it remains silent and makes a person carrier without any signs and symptoms. It is because of this reason that the condition remains uncontrollable and is harder to cope up when compared to the influenza virus which has also been the reason for the past pandemics. The report conducted at the University of Minnesota, Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, shows that people are severely infectious in their incubation period without any appearance of signs and symptoms.

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The researchers make use of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic model to assess the spread of coronavirus pandemic and the experts suggest that this infectious pandemic will last for around 18-24 months. The pandemic influenza resulted in deaths of 500 million people which is why the current coronavirus pandemic can be compared with it. Both the pandemics resulted in the spread of the disease through droplets in the form of sneezing or coughing and can infect the people who are in direct contact with the asymptomatic carriers.

THREE SCENARIOS EXPRESSED IN THE REPORT:

Still, researchers are unable to identify the spread of the disease because COVID-19 is spreading even more easily because it has a Ro value of around 2-2.5 while influenza has a Ro value of around 1.3. It is because of this reason that the report experts came up with three scenarios where scenario 1 involves repetitive small waves of coronavirus infection during summers. The second scenario involves a larger wave of COVID-19 infection during fall and winters. The third scenario is the one where the world will experience the slow burn of the rapid transmission of COVID-19. All these scenarios are dependent on the development of the SARS-COV-2 vaccine.

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SLOWING DOWN THE LOCKDOWN WITH OPENING OF BUSINESSES AND PUBLIC PLACES:

The governments and higher health authorities have proposed the lockdown situation for the past few months. This lockdown situation where billions of people were locked in their homes so that the spread of the virus can be controlled. However, in the past few days, governments and higher authorities are now being lenient regarding the strict lockdown and cautiously opening the public places along with different businesses so that the people can start going to work and earn for their living. The authors, however, confirm that the coronavirus will eventually last till 2022 most probably. 

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IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES AND PROTOCOLS:

The researchers and health professional experts also urge the government officials that we should try maintaining social distancing, promote the use of masks, washing hands frequently, and other safety measures at all costs because this pandemic won’t be ending soon. They also said that people should be prepared for the worst conditions as the period upsurge of the disease will occur during the next two years. 

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DEVELOPMENT OF VACCINE AGAINST SARS-COV-2:

The developers worldwide are trying to come up with the vaccine which can help people get rid of the disease. Manufacturers and government authorities are trying their best to come up with an effective vaccine in no time. However, only small quantities of coronavirus vaccine would be manufactured this year. Vaccine developing companies are struggling hard to form vaccines in massive amounts so that it could be supplied worldwide. We have also seen that during the flu pandemic from 2009-2010 in the US, the vaccine was not available massively until they suffered from a huge outbreak according to a study. According to a study, it was seen that the flu shots helped 1.5 million cases to recover and prevented around 500 deaths in the US alone. The credit for this report goes to medical director Kristen Moore and CIDRAP director Michael Oster Holm, John Barry-Tulane University Public Health historian, and Marc Lipsitch who is the epidemiologist at Harvard School of Public Health.

References : CNBC, CNBC, W.H.O, CNN, CIDRAP, CNN, CNN

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