PM urges the nation to learn to live with the virus. What will happen if COVID-19 never goes away?
Social Distancing measures may have to be put in place again and again, up until 2022.
Prime Minister Imran Khan gave a televised news address on Friday, 15th May 2020. In this address, he said that we cannot afford to impose an indefinite lockdown and that the virus is here to stay, at least until the end of the year and we will have to learn to live with it.
PM further added that a vaccine has not been developed until now and the situation is very unpredictable. If he had some sort of assurance that this virus could be defeated within three months, he would have gone ahead with a three-month lockdown, but no such guarantee exists.
He also mentioned South Korea, China, Singapore and Japan saying that these countries did initially impose lockdowns but are now witnessing spikes in coronavirus cases after reopening their cities.
The prime minister appealed to the nation to follow the guidelines issued to prevent the spread of the virus and urged citizens not to celebrate Eid as it is celebrated usually.
The Prime Minister also emphasized how important it was to open up public transport to facilitate the poor, stating that:
“When we stop public transport, we are making life difficult for the poor. So I request everyone to reopen public transport. The US and Europe have not stopped it. Why have we done it?”
The Minister for Federal Planning and Development, Asad Umar, said that the ministry has made it mandatory for people to wear face masks in crowded places
COVID-19 might never go away and may return seasonally like the flu
It is possible that COVID-19 never goes away and returns seasonally like the flu.
Researchers claim that COVID-19 could very well become another seasonal pathogen that causes pneumonia and could be compared to seasonal influenza. Its intensity would be more than that of a cold but less than SARS.
Similarly, researchers at Harvard claim that herd immunity will be slower to build up, and until that happens we will continue to experience regular outbreaks. This would require social distancing measures to be put in place again and again, up until 2022.