The coronavirus may never go away and populations will have to learn to live with it just as they have HIV, the World Health Organization has warned, as the global death toll from the disease nears 300,000.
A vaccine could allow countries and economies to fully re-open from lockdowns and potentially earn millions of dollars for its creators.
But the WHO said the virus may never be wiped out entirely.
“This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away,” said Michael Ryan, the global health body’s emergencies director in Geneva.
“HIV has not gone away — but we have come to terms with the virus.”
The prospect of the disease hanging around leaves governments across the world facing a delicate balancing act between suppressing the pathogen and getting economies up and running.