Experts foresee a difficult six-month period coming

While vaccinations are beginning, it will take months for a sizable number of people around the world to get inoculated and most will remain at risk from the virus for much of 2021.(Photo: Yucatan al Instante)

The director of Health Emergencies of the World Health Organization (WHO), Mike Ryan, warned today that despite the vaccination actions against COVID-19 that are beginning in some countries there could be up to half a year more of a pandemic with high numbers of infections and deaths.

“The vaccine is cause for hope and we must celebrate it, but the next three or six months are going to be hard, countries that have an intense transmission of the virus will see that it intensifies,” said Ryan at a press conference, when asked about the increase in cases in countries like Mexico.

At the same time, “those countries that have had the pandemic under control could not stay that way,” said the Irish expert, who gave as an example the nations of East Asia, where infection figures are beginning to rise in some cities after months of relative calm.

Ryan warned that “past success is no guarantee of future success” in containing the pandemic, noting that even when vaccines are available early on, “they will not be available in sufficient numbers to prevent contagion ”.

The director of health emergencies of the WHO stressed about the Mexican case that like other countries in America, such as Brazil or the United States, “never really came out of the first wave with some control” and are now facing ” an intense second-wave period in which they have to put into practice all the necessary preventive measures ”.

Ryan also confirmed that the long-awaited mission led by the WHO to investigate the origin of the coronavirus in China will travel to the Asian country in the first week of January and will visit the central city of Wuhan, where the first cases were reported a year ago.

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