SINGAPORE (Apr 17): The Covid-19 pandemic will not end soon — not by a long shot. The coronavirus is more likely to become endemic to humanity like the flu, but not before a long and difficult period of adjustment to bring the contagion fully under control. 

Such was the sobering prognosis of two public health experts and a behavioural economist at a webinar organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). Entitled Covid-19: Lessons learned? What comes next?, the session was moderated by Associate Professor James Crabtree. The three panellists took stock of the coronavirus situation and presented various scenarios of life after the pandemic. 

“I feel this virus will become endemic just like seasonal flu, but with occasional outbreaks of severe disease, maybe due to relaxation of containment efforts or viral mutation,” said Tikki Pangestu, former Director of Research Policy & Cooperation at the World Health Organisation (WHO). “So we will have to learn to live with the virus but our health systems must have the capacity to fight fires where necessary.” 

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