A WHO public health expert has warned that if the coronavirus is allowed to “march through” Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian sub-continent unarrested, the rest of the world risks being hit by repeated bouts of Covid-19.
Professor Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization’s Center on Public Health and Human Rights, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Wednesday that we are “only as safe as the weakest link in the global chain” on tackling coronavirus.
If you’ve got Covid rages in other parts of the world, in this interconnected society we live in, it will come back to Europe and the United States.
Gostin added that the disease could come back in a “second, third or even fourth wave” if the problem is not tackled globally. He also took a swipe at President Donald Trump for withdrawing US funding for the WHO, saying it could have a “devastating impact.”
The public health expert said that “in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic,” it was “deeply concerning and dismaying” to see the president cut off funding.
His predictions of multiple waves of the virus come just a day after another expert warned that social distancing measures may have to be in place until 2022.
A paper published in the journal Science concluded that a one-time lockdown would not be enough to stem the spread – and warned that secondary peaks could be even higher.
The worst case scenario presented by the team from Harvard University was that, in the absence of a vaccine, Covid-19 could keep bouncing back until as late as 2025.