MOSCOW (Agencies): Gennady Onishchenko, Russia’s former chief health inspector, has stated that Covid-19 has lost its pandemic potential in the years since it was identified by the World Health Organization.
The announcement follows a statement from the Russian consumer rights and wellbeing watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, indicating that the peak of Covid-19 infections in Russia has passed and that new mass vaccination campaigns are no longer necessary. However, they advised continued vigilance as coronavirus cases still exhibit seasonal growth.
In an interview with RIA Novosti, Onishchenko, who currently serves as the deputy president of the Russian Academy of Education, acknowledged that the coronavirus had mutated and caused several serious waves of infections, including fatal ones, over the years of the pandemic. He noted that while new strains may still appear due to the virus’s constant mutation, “this coronavirus, by all indications, has exhausted its pandemic potential.”
Covid-19, which emerged in late 2019, developed into the most widespread epidemic in nearly a century. Over the past three years, the disease has reportedly claimed the lives of an estimated seven million people worldwide, a figure that The Lancet medical journal suggests could be as high as 18 million.
At the recent Davos Forum in Switzerland, world leaders discussed a hypothetical ‘Disease X’ pandemic, a virus postulated to be 20 times deadlier than Covid-19. Despite sparking controversy in the media and on social media, experts have clarified that considering a hypothetical virus outbreak is a standard procedure used by researchers and scientists when devising action plans to prepare health systems for such emergencies.