There may never be a ‘silver bullet’ for coronavirus, WHO warns

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Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference launching his candidacy to the post of Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), on the sidelines of the WHO's annual assembly, on May 24, 2016, in Geneva.
Delegates from 194 member-states gather for the second day of the WHO's annual assembly, with the UN agency's chief Margaret Chan warning in an opening address that the world was not prepared to cope with a rising threat from infectious diseases. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference launching his candidacy to the post of Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), on the sidelines of the WHO's annual assembly, on May 24, 2016, in Geneva. Delegates from 194 member-states gather for the second day of the WHO's annual assembly, with the UN agency's chief Margaret Chan warning in an opening address that the world was not prepared to cope with a rising threat from infectious diseases. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

GENEVA — The World Health Organization said on Monday there may never be a magical cure for the coronavirus as it called on governments and citizens to continue taking precautionary and preventive measures in order to stem the spread of the deadly disease.

The global health body’s note of caution comes at a time when scientists and drug makers across the world are racing to find a safe and effective vaccine.

"Scientists have made progress in identifying treatments that can help people with the most severe forms of COVID-19, and a number of vaccines are in late-stage trials," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a virtual press conference from the agency’s headquarters.

"However, there's no silver bullet at the moment — and there might never be.

"For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.

"Do it all," he urged.

Tedros’ remarks were in response to a question on Russia’s claims that it will be ready to start mass vaccinations in October.

There are no-FDA approved drugs for the coronavirus, which has infected more than 18 million people worldwide and killed at least 689,625, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In May, the FDA granted antiviral drug remdesivir an emergency use authorization, allowing hospitals and doctors to use the drug on patients hospitalized with the disease even though the drug has not been formally approved by the agency. The FDA has also said it is looking at dexamethasone, a steroid already authorized in the United Kingdom for the treatment of coronavirus. — Agencies


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