HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/GERMANY-RELIGION
(Photo : REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen) Georg Baetzing, Bishop of Limburg, speaks during the first mass open for believers, after the closing of church services due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kevelaer, Germany May 1, 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to last up to years and will reemerge until almost two-thirds of the world's population are immune, a group of experts said. However, social distancing would possibly end for the duration of the first half of 2021.

HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/GERMANY-RELIGION
(Photo : REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen)
Georg Baetzing, Bishop of Limburg, speaks during the first mass open for believers, after the closing of church services due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kevelaer, Germany May 1, 2020.

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy on the University of Minnesota warned the virus can be more challenging to control than influenza. They said coronavirus spreads quickly to folks who don't appear ill. People might be at their most infectious stage before signs and symptoms appear, according to the study.

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COVID-19 could re-emerge after 2 years?

Governments are now cautiously allowing companies and public places to reopen after locking down billions of people around the world to reduce their spread through countries. Yet the coronavirus pandemic is possible to keep in waves that could remain beyond 2022, the authors said.

"Risk communication messaging from government officials should incorporate the concept that this pandemic will not be over soon," they told Bloomberg.

People, according to the authors, need to be prepared for possible periodic resurgences of disease over the next two years.

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Health officials are racing to make vaccines that can be available in small portions as early as this year. While huge quantities of vaccine in opposition to the 2009-2010 flu pandemic weren't available until after the outbreak peaked, studies expected that the shots prevented 1.5 million cases and 500 deaths in the US alone.

The report was written by CIDRAP director Michael Osterholm and clinical director Kristen Moore, Tulane University's public health historian John Barry, and Marc Lipsitch, Harvard School of Public Health's epidemiologist.

Social distancing to continue

While coronavirus pandemic may continue through 2022, Harvard University researchers said social distancing could possibly end until mid-2021.

Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health, whose studies were published in the journal Science, said that "intermittent distancing" may be required for the next few years.

The research comes because the US recorded more than 60,000 deaths from the virus, one of the highest number of fatalities in the world. The country also reached 1 million COVID-19 cases - which is around one-third of all reported cases of the disease in the world. 

Researchers, citing South Korea and Singapore as examples, believe distancing measures could lessen the burden on health care systems and allow for efficient contact tracing and quarantine.

The researchers acknowledged distancing would hurt the economic, social, and academic health of the country.

The added social distancing measures once could only result in a "prolonged single-peak epidemic" that strains the health care system.

The study added even after its "apparent elimination," the virus needs to be monitored because it may resurge after 2024.

The WHO has stated that the number of infections has "certainly" not but reached its peak, with 2 million global infections reported thus far and more than 124,000 deaths from the virus.

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