Top Thai virologist says 2023 is game over for COVID-19

This year is “game over” for COVID-19, as the World Health Organisation is expected to stop counting global daily infections, because reports of infections by every country submitted to the organisation are lower than actual figures and the disease will become seasonal, according to Dr. Yong Poovorawan, head of the Centre of Excellence of Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University.

In his Facebook post today (Monday), he also said that COVID-19 in Thailand will subside this month, but will re-emerge from June until September, after which it will become a seasonal disease, like influenza.

After three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Yong said that we have learned ten things:

-The virus is evolving to survive, as it adjusts to reduce its severity and to co-exist with the human host. The mortality rate, which used to be 3-5%, has now reduced to 0.1%, similar to that of influenza.

-Severe diseases, such as Ebola, Marburg and Lassa fever have a slim chance of spreading globally. On the contrary, diseases which are less severe, such as influenza, can spread across the world.

-All vaccines are not much different from each other. mRNA vaccines provide a high level of immunity, but their efficacy only lasts for a short time because they were tested over a short period of time and, in the long run, the vaccines cannot protect against the virus. The death toll in countries where the population was given mRNA vaccines is not lower than that in countries which did not.

-COVID-19 infection has subsided because more than 70% of population of each country has been infected.

-Immunity caused by infection, in combination with vaccination, will last longer than immunity produced by vaccination alone.

-COVID-19 is becoming seasonal, like influenza and other respiratory diseases.

-Vaccines for the future are intended for vulnerable groups of people who tend to develop severe symptoms. People who are strong will not develop severe symptoms if infected again.

-If we could turn back time, we should make use of the body of knowledge as our guide in coping with the pandemic, instead of submitting to pressure from social media.


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