New coronavirus variants possible, but its pandemic potential already exhausted — expert

The novel coronavirus pathogen has exhausted its pandemic potential, although new variants of the virus may still emerge, a prominent Russian epidemiologist has told TASS, SİA reports.

Dr. Gennady Onishchenko, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Vice President of the Russian Academy of Education, said the virus’ ability to mutate has caused several serious waves of the infection globally in the past.

"New strains may emerge. It [the virus] is constantly mutating, but, based on all indications, the coronavirus has already exhausted its pandemic potential," Onishchenko said.

One of the sessions of the World Economic Forum, held in Davos between January 15 and 19, was headlined ‘Preparing for Disease X.’ It focused on preparations for a pandemic and caused a serious debate in the media and on social networks. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the notion of ‘disease X’ has been used since 2018 to denote a hypothetical unknown disease, not a concrete infection.

Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing Anna Popova said discussion on the so-called ‘disease X’ was a part of routine work of healthcare experts, whose task is to examine and study all possible variants of a hypothetical pandemic.

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