Bill Gates shares what world needs to do to stop Covid-19 pandemic: Here’s what he has to say
Bill Gates said that says that asymptomatic people shouldn’t be tested until there are enough tests for people with symptoms.
Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has outlined a plan as to what the world needs to do in order to stop the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his blog post, GatesNotes, Gates compared the Coronavirus outbreak with World War II and he suggested innovation as a tool to fight the outbreak.
"During World War II, an amazing amount of innovation, including radar, reliable torpedoes, and code-breaking, helped end the war faster. This will be the same with the pandemic. I break the innovation into five categories: treatments, vaccines, testing, contact tracing, and policies for opening up.Without some advances in each of these areas, we cannot return to the business as usual or stop the virus," he wrote in his blog.
Here is how Gates believes innovation can help in tackling the Covid-19 outbreak:
-- Treatments: Gates said that while a number of new treatments are being tried out at the moment, most of them will fail. Yet he remained optimistic that some of these treatments will reduce the disease burden.
"If in the spring of 2021 people are going to big public events—like a game or concert in a stadium—it will be because we have a miraculous treatment that made people feel confident about going out again," he wrote.
-- Vaccines: The billionaire philanthropist believes that it will take a "short of a miracle treatment" to return the world to where it was before COVID-19 showed up.
He said that while developing a vaccine typically takes around five years, in case of Covid-19, it is likely to be around 18 months or "as short as nine months or closer to two years."
-- Testing: As far as testing is concerned, Gates believes that the government will have to prioritise on testing the right people. He says that asymptomatic people shouldn't be tested until there are enough tests for people with symptoms. He also said that test results should come back in less than 24 hours "so you quickly know whether to continue isolating yourself and quarantining the people who live with you."
-- Contact tracing: Gates also highlighted the importance of contact tracing in fighting the virus outbreak. He said that the key priority should be testing people who have been in contact with people who have tested positive. He also praised Germany for its contact tracing efforts.
-- Opening up: As far as opening up businesses and public places are concerned, Gates said that most developed countries will be "moving into the second phase of the epidemic in the next two months." He described this phase as "semi-normal".
"The rules about what is allowed should change gradually so that we can see if the contact level is starting to increase the number of infections. Countries will be able to learn from other countries that have strong testing systems in place to inform them when problems come up," he wrote.