Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief scientist, told the Financial Times’ Global Boardroom webinar on Wednesday: “I would say in a four to five-year time frame, we could be looking at controlling this.”
Swaminathan said a vaccine appeared to be the “best way out” at present but warned there were lots of “ifs and buts” about its safety, production and equitable distribution.
At a separate media briefing, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said at the organization’s Geneva headquarters on Wednesday that the coronavirus “may never go away.”
When asked to address Swaminathan’s comments earlier in the day, Ryan said no one would be able to accurately predict when the disease might disappear.
He added that trying to control the virus would require a “massive effort,” even if a vaccine is found.