American billionaire Bill Gates has claimed Covid-19 deaths and infections may drop below seasonal flu levels next year as more people get vaccinated and treatment improves, unless we encounter a new, more deadly variant.
Speaking on Thursday in a virtual interview at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, the billionaire founder of Microsoft stated that vaccines, natural immunity and emerging oral treatments mean that “the death rate and the disease rate ought to be coming down pretty dramatically.”
The tech mogul, who has been particularly vocal during the pandemic, said issues around vaccine-production capacity are likely to be replaced by distribution challenges and even waning demand.
“The vaccines are very good news, and the supply constraints will be largely solved as we get out in the middle of next year, and so we’ll be limited by the logistics and the demand,” he noted.
He also told his audience that it remains to be seen how much demand there is for Covid-19 shots in places like Sub-Saharan Africa.
Calling for more work to eradicate flu, Gates claimed Covid-19 rates and deaths would possibly fall below those of flu by the middle of next year, unless more deadly coronavirus variants emerge.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has involved itself in the development of vaccines and virus surveillance, calling for a global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The foundation has invested hundreds of millions dollars in the development and distribution of potentially lifesaving shots.
According to the World Health Organization, influenza kills up to 650,000 people each year. At least five million people have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began in late 2019.
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