Coronavirus: WHO warns of ‘no silver bullet’ amid vaccine discovery


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The WHO chief said that progress is being made in the search for a vaccine, but caution is needed

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that while vaccines against Kovid-19 are expected, one may never be found.

Tedros Adnom Ghebayeus reported in a news briefing that “there was no silver bullet at this time – and probably never could be”.

“Do it all,” Mr. Tedros told people around the world to comply with measures such as social disturbances, washing hands and wearing masks.

Globally, more than 18 million Kovid-19 infections have been recorded.

The death toll is 689,000, with both figures provided by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Speaking from his headquarters in Geneva, the WHO chief said that work on vaccination was in progress.

“Many vaccines are now in Phase 3 clinical trials, and we all expect the number of effective vaccines that can help protect people from infection.

“However, there is no silver bullet at the moment, and may never be,” warned Mr. Tedros. “For now, the fundamentals of public health and disease control are to prevent outbreaks: to test, isolate and treat patients, and to detect and minimize their contacts.”

‘Continue breastfeeding’

Mr Tedros said that mothers with suspected or confirmed coronovirus infections should be encouraged to continue breastfeeding.

The benefits, he said, “significantly” outpaced the risks of infection.

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Media captionCoronavirus Vaccine: How Close Are We and Who Will Get It?

Meanwhile, the first phase of the WHO investigation of a possible source of the outbreak in China is now complete, he said.

Infectious disease experts believe the virus initially jumped from animals to humans and the focus is on a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the Kovid-19 pandemic began.

An advance team investigating the source has concluded its mission and is followed by a large WHO-led international group, including Chinese experts. It is not yet known when it will begin.

In other events:

  • The Australian city of Melbourne is closing down shops, factories and other non-essential businesses as officials battle a second wave of coronovirus. A five-night curfew has been imposed on the city’s five million residents to try to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Officials said at least 41 passengers and crew on Norway’s cruise ship have tested positive for the Kovid-19. Hundreds of more passengers traveling on Ms Ronald Amundsen are in quarantine and waiting for the test results.

  • The number of deaths from coronaviruses in Iran is almost three times higher than Iran’s government claims compared to Iran’s government claims. The government’s own records appear to show the death of about 42,000 people with Kovid-19 symptoms as of July 20, with 14,405 reported by the Ministry of Health.

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