Coronavirus may disappear before development of a vaccine: Milan research center head

Scientists are seen working at Cobra Biologics, they are working on a potential vaccine for COVID-19, in Britain. (File photo: Reuters)

The deadly coronavirus could lose its potency and disappear before a vaccine is developed, Dr. Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, said.

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The virus is nearing its end and “may disappear before the discovery of a vaccine to stop its spread, because its potency has begun to weaken day by day,” the prominent Italian doctor said in an interview with Italy’s La7 television channel.

However, most in the medical community have warned that the virus is now endemic within the population, meaning it will not go away on its own, and have begun to warn of a “second wave” as the world comes out of lockdown. Others have suggested that life may not completely return to normal until a vaccine is developed.

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Remuzzi seems to disagree with this view.

The disease is less severe in newly infected individuals in comparison to those who were infected a month ago, he said, adding that the number of people who require intensive care in Italy is less than what it used to be.

Remuzzi said that he does not know why the deadly coronavirus is losing its potency.

However, he stated, people may have developed an immunity to it, which could lead to its eradication before the development of a vaccine.

“If things continue to evolve the way they are now, the outbreak may stop,” he added.

No return to normalcy

The two ways for a population to develop immunity against a virus are through a vaccine or herd immunity, the latter of which has been the subject of debate in the medical community. While the race is on to develop a vaccine, one might not be available until the end of 2021.

A general practitioner at Strachur Medical Practice in Scotland said told Al Arabiya English that the concept of herd immunity is “rare in nature.”

Meanwhile, an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and one of the architects of Obamacare said that normalcy would not be returning any time soon.

“I don’t think we’re going to get a vaccine before next year, and I would say, out to the public or general immunity not until July, August, September timeframe in 2021. That’s kind of the optimistic reading. So 15 months, 18 months from now,” said Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and one of the architects of Obamacare.

The novel coronavirus has infected 4,194,326 people and killed 286,615 others worldwide. The virus was first detected on December 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China.

Al Arabiya English’s Ismaeel Naar and Muhammed Nafie contributed to the report.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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