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Corona Crisis: There may never be a 'silver bullet' for COVID-19, WHO warns

Geneva, SwitzerlandThe World Health Organization warned on Monday, August 3 that, despite strong hopes for a vaccine, there might never be a "silver bullet" for COVID-19, and the road to normality would be long.

More than 18.14 million people around the world are reported to have been infected with the disease and 688,080 have died, according to a Reuters tally, with some nations that thought they were over the worst experiencing a resurgence. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan exhorted all nations to rigorously enforce health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, handwashing and testing.

"A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection," Tedros told a virtual news briefing in Geneva. "However, there's no silver bullet at the moment - and there might never be." Ryan said countries with high transmission rates, including Brazil and India, needed to brace for a big battle: "The way out is long and requires a sustained commitment."
The WHO officials said an advance investigation team was not yet back from China, where the virus originated. A larger, WHO-led team of Chinese and international experts is planned next, to study the origins of the virus in the city of Wuhan, although the timing and composition of that is not yet clear.

Tedros urged mothers to continue breastfeeding even if they had COVID-19, as the benefits "substantially" outweighed the risks of infection. WHO technical lead for COVID-19 response Maria Van Kerkhove said recent studies estimate the virus's fatality rate at 0.6 percent.
"That may not sound like a lot, but it is quite high if you think about a virus that can transmit readily, that can transmit well," she said. She said the development of tests that yield rapid results is a "positive thing" that could help control efforts against the disease's spread.

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