World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 11, 2020.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic could be over within the next two years, according to the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference on Friday that current advances in technology could help the world gain fight the virus "in a shorter time."
  • Ghebreyesus compared the current pandemic to the 1918 Spanish flu, which took two years to overcome.
  • His comments come as several countries see a renewed spike in infections following the summer period.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic could be over within the next two years, the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. 

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva on Friday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus compared the COVID-19 pandemic to the 1918 Spanish flu, which took two years to overcome.

Ghebreyesus said that current advances in technology and in the healthcare sector could help the world overcome the virus "in a shorter time," according to the BBC.

"Of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading," he said, the BBC reported. "But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it and the knowledge to stop it."

"So we hope to finish this pandemic (in) less than two years," he told reporters.

Ghebreyesus also stressed the importance of "national unity, global solidarity" in fighting the virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, China in January

The Spanish flu infected 500 million people — about a third of the world's population at the time — in four successive waves.

Lasting two years, it killed around 50 million people, including 300,000 South Africans in only six weeks

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has so far infected more and 22.9 million people worldwide and killed almost 800,000, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.

Ghebreyesus comments come as several countries see a renewed spike in coronavirus infections following the summer period.

In South Korea, health authorities have recorded 324 new cases on Friday — its highest single-day total since March.

Spain, France, and Germany have also seen dramatic increases in the last few days.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 new deaths were announced in the US on Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities to more than 175,000, according to new CDC figures.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden attacked President's Trump handling of the pandemic in his Democratic National Convention speech on Thursday, saying he had  "failed in his most basic duty to the nation," according to Vox. 

Biden pledged to introduce a national mandate to wear masks if elected and said he would shut down the US to stop the coronavirus spread if scientists told him it would be necessary.

"I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus," Biden told ABC News's David Muir in an interview that will air in full Sunday.

"That is the fundamental flaw of this administration's thinking, to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus," Biden said, according to The Hill.

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