Africa: This Pandemic Ain't Over Until It's Over, but We Can Prepare for the Next One

opinion

We cannot be sure that this particular virus, or anything similar will not emerge and spread again within a generation. What we can do now is regulate, and for the state, in collaboration with the private sector, to invest heavily in health infrastructure.

Covid-19 cannot be stopped from spreading around the world. At least not unless a vaccine is found (which could take 12 months to develop), or the human body develops some kind of resistance to the virus.

Either way, it could be at least another year before we can say that the virus has been stopped from spreading, that its worst effects have been rolled back, and that all cases have been eradicated.

What we can say, with some confidence, is that many more people will get infected, and many will die. What we can do, while we deal with the current crisis, is start preparing for the next one.

We cannot rule out the possibility that there may well be another pandemic within the next 10-15 years. Recall that we had three pandemics in the 20th century: the 1918 pandemic (H1N1 virus), the 1957-1958 pandemic (H2N2 virus) and the 1968 pandemic (H3N2 virus). Already we have had...

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