COVID-19 Pandemic Could Last 4-5 Years, WHO Scientist Predicts; U.N. Calls For More Attention On Mental Health Needs

Financial Times: WHO’s chief scientist offers bleak assessment of challenges ahead
“It will be four or five years before Covid-19 is under control, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist predicted on Wednesday, in a bleak assessment of the difficulties that lie ahead. Many factors will determine how long and to what extent the virus remains a threat, including whether it mutates, what containment measures are put in place, and whether an effective vaccine is developed, Soumya Swaminathan told the FT’s Global Boardroom digital conference…” (Hodgson, 5/13).

U.N. News: U.N. leads call to protect most vulnerable from mental health crisis during and after COVID-19
“Decades of neglect and underinvestment in addressing people’s mental health needs have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. said on Thursday, in a call for ambitious commitments from countries in the way they treat psychological illness, amid a potential global spike in suicides and drug abuse. Spearheading the alert ahead of the upcoming World Health Assembly in Geneva, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to do much more to protect all those facing mounting mental pressures…” (5/13).

Additional coverage of the WHO’s statements on the COVID-19 pandemic is available from The Hill (2) and Reuters (2).