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Since December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has been sending nations across the globe into lockdowns in an attempt to contain it. Six months down the line, several countries are looking for ways to open themselves up and move forward without a definitive cure in sight. As the world looks for ways to deal with COVID-19, World Health Organization(WHO) has warned that the new coronavirus may never go away and populations around the world will have to learn to live with it.

WHO on Wednesday said that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could become endemic like HIV, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it. The officials said that it is hard to predict when the pandemic will be over, but countries should stay positive and collaborate closely.

“We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it,” said Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies director. He added that there was a “long, long way to go” on the path to returning to normal, insisting that countries would have to stay the course.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Many countries would like to get out of the different measures. But our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible.”

The Coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan in China and has infected more than 4.2 million people and killed nearly 300,000 worldwide.