The Health Secretary said he hopes coronavirus will turn into a pathogen we can “live with, like we do flu” by the end of 2021. He told the Telegraph new medication should be trialled and made available soon to treat the disease.
Mr Hancock said: “I hope that COVID-19 will become a treatable disease by the end of the year.”
He explained the new drugs will be “turning COVID from a pandemic that affects all of our lives into another illness that we have to live with, like we do flu.”
“That’s where we need to get COVID to over the months to come,” he added.
The UK has already authorised two of the drugs deemed to lower the death risk in the most severely affected patients by around 40 percent.
The treatments, dexamethasone and tocilizumab, could soon be available to people across the country via the NHS.
Former cabinet minister Damian Green MP suggested completely eliminating the virus was not a possibility.
He told BBC Newsnight: “Zero COVID is probably a mirage.
“It is going to be with us, we are going to have to live with it.”
Speaking to the BBC, Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet medical journal, warned that ruling out a “zero COVID” strategy would mean thousands would probably still die from the disease in some years.