Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently introduced a series of new measures into the UK to help curb the spread of the pandemic, some of which are expected to be in place for at least six months. Following the summer where people saw some semblance of normality, there are increasing concerns that another national lockdown could be on the cards as the pandemic continues to affect countries across the globe.
Will COVID-19 end in 2021?
Experts all agree that the virus will eventually die down, but all have a different timeline for when this could be.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it aims to “end the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of 2021”.
The organisation announced in September that 64 percent of the world’s population signed up to buy and fairly distribute coronavirus vaccines.
A vaccine is the key to end the virus, but countries should also look to testing and tracing and analysing human behaviour, according to scientist.
READ MORE: Coronavirus vaccine: Task force chief dismisses ‘safety concerns’
Billionaire philanthropist and creator of Microsoft, Bill Gates, says the pandemic will finish by the end of 2021.
Mr Gates sent a stark warning, however, that this wouldn’t happen without millions more fatalities.
He warned the pandemic would happen every 20 years unless more action is taken to take deadly diseases once and for all.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged more than £270million to combat the virus, concentrated particularly in developing nations.
Frontiers in Public Health predicts the coronavirus will become a seasonal illness, much like the flu, but only when “herd immunity is attained through natural infections or vaccinations” to stop the virus’s rampage.
Sir Walport commented that while a vaccine would be needed to control the pandemic itself, COVID-19 is unlike other diseases like smallpox, “which could be eradicated by vaccination”.
He added: “This is a virus that is going to be with us forever in some form or another, and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations.”
The WHO is hopeful a vaccine will be ready for international distribution by mid-2021, according to its chief scientist.
Soumya Swaminathan told a news briefing in Geneva, Switzerland: “Certainly by the middle of 2021, we should start to see some vaccines moving into countries and populations.”