As scientists and pharmaceutical companies across the world scramble to develop a viable coronavirus vaccine, the World Health Organization has admitted that there is no quick cure in the ongoing battle against the pandemic.
“However, there is no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters.
According to the WHO, there are more than 150 vaccines under development worldwide, and at least twenty-five are already in clinical trials.
The Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that Pfizer and Moderna, which both have entered Phase 3 trials for their leading vaccine candidates, have already vaccinated “several hundred people.”
Until a safe and effective vaccine is available, Tedros said new coronavirus outbreaks can be stopped by practicing the “basics” of public health and disease control.
“Testing, isolating and treating patients and tracing and quarantining their contacts,” he said.
“Do it all. Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all.”
Tedros added that the public needs to continue to practice social distancing, wear face masks and coverings and wash hands regularly.
“The message to people and governments is clear: Do it all,” he said.
“And when it’s under control, keep going, keep strengthening the health system, keep improving surveillance, contact tracing and ensure disrupted health services are restarted as quickly as possible.”
“It’s completely understandable that people want to get on with their lives, but we will not be going back to the old normal,” Tedros said on July 23.
On Friday, the agency reported nearly 300,000 new cases in just twenty-four hours, marking the largest single-day increase ever.
The United States has the most cases by far, with nearly 4.7 million confirmed infections and more than 155,000 deaths.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.