The coronavirus pandemic is reactivated, but the high vaccination rates in Europe are making it possible to better weather the increase in infections. In fact, many experts understand that the Covid-19 virus will end up becoming a seasonal virus. In this sense, Bill Gates has set a date when the coronavirus will stop its high mortality.
At the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, the Microsoft co-founder said Covid-19 death and infection rates could drop below seasonal flu levels by the middle of next year. “The death rate and the disease rate should drop drastically,” said the philanthropist.
This horizon, Gates also explained, is due to the high efficacy of vaccines and new oral treatments. “Vaccines are very good news, and supply constraints will largely be resolved by the middle of next year, so we will be constrained by logistics and demand,” Gates said. However, he conditioned the good news on the absence of new variants of Covid-19 that could circumvent the immunity of vaccines.
We must be prepared for the next pandemics
Despite optimism, Bill Gates warned in another public event that the world must prepare for upcoming pandemics, whether natural or caused by bioterrorism. Thus, the tycoon has already drawn up a strategy to be ready.
- Investment in science: the billionaire explains that to avoid a repeat of the difficulties of this last year, it is necessary to double investments in R&D and organizations such as the Coalition for Innovations in Preparedness for Epidemics (CEPI) that have proven to be invaluable with Covid-19. “We also need to develop completely new capabilities that do not yet exist,” he adds. Here it is worth remembering that Bill Gates urged a few months ago to invest more in medical research to get out before this crisis and those that may come. Thus, the millionaire was one of the first to donate 100 million dollars to get a vaccine against Covid-19.
- Rich countries must pay: This support for scientific funding must “come from rich countries,” explains Gates, since pandemics are global. In addition, he reasons that this investment is the best and most profitable insurance policy: “The world needs to spend billions to save billions (and prevent millions of deaths),” he says.
- Monitor for pathogens: This investment in scientific research should be combined, Gates writes, in an increase in testing systems that constantly monitor for troublesome pathogens and that can be activated as soon as they are needed. In addition, disease outbreaks must be detected as soon as they occur.
- Convene More Pandemic Simulations – In preparation for the next pandemic, the billionaire also invites more pandemic drills. In fact, he participated in the so-called ‘Event 201’, a simulation carried out in 2019 where a pandemic was ravaging the planet. According to the co-founder, these types of drills allow “to practice, analyze and improve the way we respond to disease outbreaks, just as war games allow the military to prepare for war in real life.”