Bill Gates Expects COVID-19 To Be Like the Flu After the Omicron Surge

And hopes the pandemic will be over in 2022.
Ameya Paleja

In a conversation on Twitter, Bill Gates shared his opinions about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and what steps we could take to make it more manageable this year. CNET reported.  

Apart from building Microsoft from the ground up, Bill Gates is popularly known for accurately warning the world about an imminent pandemic. Although Gates probably would have preferred to be wrong about this, he has tried to make the situation better by supporting the production and distribution of vaccines around the world. Before the year turned and as COVID cases began surging, Gates called Omicron the worst part of the pandemic.

Speaking to Professor Devi Sridhar, a notable global public health expert, Gates reiterated his belief that the pandemic could be over in 2022 if we took the right measures. The first among those measures is vaccines that not only reduce disease severity but also stop the infection in its tracks. 

Gates also praised responses from certain countries such as Australia who were quick to scale up their testing and isolate infected individuals while also pointing out the fact that despite his warnings, the world wasn't ready for the pandemic. 

Gates also lamented the fact that even large organizations like the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention lack resources to spot an incoming pandemic and communicate it out to the world. 

Regarding the major question that's on everyone's mind, Gates saw a sliver of hope in rising infections due to the Omicron variant for an estimation about the pandemic's ending.

Gates is hopeful that a variant more transmissible than Omicron is unlikely and current infections will create immunity for the next year, after which we may have to take yearly shots for COVID-19 for some time, he added in the Twitter thread. Pfizer's CEO had recently confirmed that its Omicron-specific vaccine would be ready by March while countries had booked shots for Fall 2022 with Moderna. 

Amid rising cases due to the Omicron variant, a recent WHO report estimated that 50 percent of the European population would likely be infected by COVID in the next two months. 

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