A top US infectious disease expert has said that the coronavirus outbreak turned to be his "worst nightmare," and that the fight against its spread is far from over.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the remarks Tuesday during a virtual appearance at the BIO Digital health-care conference.
"In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world," Fauci said. "And it isn’t over yet. And it’s condensed in a very, very small time frame."
He stressed that the pandemic is "very different" from other outbreaks such as Ebola and HIV due to its fast transmission, and called it historically one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen.
Commenting on vaccine trials of several countries to cure COVID-19, Fauci said there will be more than one winner in the vaccine field due to the global demand.
"So I’m almost certain that we’re going to have multiple candidates that make it to the goal line get approved and get widely used."
The industry “has been stellar in this and that they’ve done it so rapidly, in fact, even outpaced the public health response, in some respect,” Fauci said.
According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 124 virus vaccines under development as of early June.
After emerging last December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, according to a running tally of Johns Hopkins University.
There are more than 7.2 million confirmed infections globally and an excess of 411,600 deaths.
The US is the country hardest-hit by the pandemic with more than 1.97 million cases and over 112,000 fatalities. Despite the severity of the situation in the US, many states have defied the coronavirus lockdowns and already reopened their economies. The state of Texas, one of the earliest to open up, has recently seen a record spike in coronavirus infections.
In all, nearly 525,000 people have recovered from the virus.