The emergence of a new pandemic in the future is one of the things taken for granted by scientists, wondering “will we be ready to face it? This is the important question.”
This was stated by Dr Zaid al Hinai, a consultant on Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital.
He said that a new coronavirus mutant, discovered in 2017, was found in Malaysia and Haiti, and is transmitted from dogs to humans. “The infection appears to be mild though. It is not known if it is transmitted directly between humans’’, he said, pointing that this discovery shows that viruses mutate in nature and their transmission to humans is natural, and it is considered self-evident that new pandemics will occur in future.
According to Bloomberg Agency quoting scientists and specialists, whoever believes that the emerging coronavirus pandemic will end within the next six months, should not be overly optimistic because more estimates and data indicate the opposite.
It said that most experts agree that the pandemic will not end until everyone is vaccinated or infected, or both, plus there are “unlucky few” who will catch Covid-19 more than once.
On the same context, some researchers say that the virus is poised to become completely resistant to the first generation of vaccines. In this regard, Lon Simonsen, an epidemiologist and professor of population health sciences at Roskilde University in Denmark, hopes: “This scenario will not happen’’, with other possibilities that talk about the emergence of a new influenza virus or another coronavirus that is transmitted from animals to humans.
“As long as there are animal reservoirs of the coronavirus, there is still the possibility of another animal coronavirus emerging in the future.”
Experts also say that pandemic will not end within six months from now, noting that the current outbreak will be tamed once 90-95 per cent of the world’s population is vaccinated or has acquired immunity from a previous infection.
As for the Sultanate of Oman, the number of the vaccinated as of November 4 reached 2,734,588 people, representing 75 per cent of the total population, as the health directorates in the governorates intensified vaccination campaigns to reach the largest possible number of citizens and residents within the wide immunisaion campaign against Covid-19 in the country.
Ibrahim al Maimani, a specialist analyst, said that the month of November began with positive indicators, as the number of new cases recorded fell below 10 per day, and for the first time the total cases in hospitals stood at six, while the recovery rate was more than double the new cases. Besides, zero deaths are reported in some days.
Al Maimani said: “During this month, if we reach 100 per cent immunisation, we will control Covid-19, and it will become like any normal disease”.