The World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe said Sunday he believes the coronavirus outbreak will end in early 2022.
Hans Kluge told Danish state broadcaster DR that COVID-19 will still be prevalent in 2021, but it will be more manageable than in 2020.
Stating that the worst scenarios are now over, Kluge said there is more information concerning the virus compared to 2020, when it first began spreading.
He cautioned, however, that no one can know the future of the COVID-19 pandemic in advance.
“There will continue to be a virus, but I don't think restrictions will be needed. This is an optimistic message," he said.
Kluge said mutations are normal and the virus is trying to adapt to the person infected, but the rapid spread of the mutations are a concern for them.
Adding that the WHO is closely monitoring the effectiveness of vaccines developed against COVID-19 due to the fast-spreading types of the virus, he said vaccines can be altered based on the new mutations if necessary and there is no need to produce them from the ground up.
He said mutations will not make the virus out of control but noted that countries whose health care systems are already under pressure could come under even more pressure, which makes it necessary to take the mutations very seriously.
Kluge indicated that the biggest problem will emerge when those who are vaccinated are in the same environment with those who are not, so scheduling is a very important factor.
* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara