Scientist warns ‘uncontrollable’ coronavirus will never be eradicated

Professor David Robertson, head of viral genomics and bioinformations, University of Glasgow, giving evidence to the House of Lords science and technology committee. (Getty Images)
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Updated 20 May 2020

Scientist warns ‘uncontrollable’ coronavirus will never be eradicated

  • Professor David Robertson: It’s a little bit of a red herring to worry about it getting worse, because it couldn’t be much worse at the moment in terms of the numbers of cases
  • David Robertson: The new coronavirus is infecting so many people with asymptomatic to mild symptoms that it’s almost uncontrollable

LONDON A leading scientist in the UK warned Tuesday that COVID-19 will never be eradicated and is “almost uncontrollable.”

Professor David Robertson, head of viral genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Glasgow, was giving evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology committee.

“It is so transmissible, it’s so successful, we’re so susceptible, that actually it’s a little bit of a red herring to worry about it getting worse, because it couldn’t be much worse at the moment in terms of the numbers of cases,” he said.

The professor compared the coronavirus pandemic to Ebola, which killed thousands in West Africa between 2014 and 2016

He said that while Ebola has very high virulence, and kills many people, it is also more controllable because you can identify infected people.

The new coronavirus, however, “is infecting so many people with asymptomatic to mild symptoms that it’s almost uncontrollable,” he said.

“I think we have to be clear that we’re not going to be able to eradicate this virus.

“It’s going to settle into the human population and in several years it will become a normal virus.”


Eight monks catch virus at remote Greek Orthodox site

Updated 21 September 2020

Eight monks catch virus at remote Greek Orthodox site

  • Mount Athos, a 1,000-year-old site and one of the Orthodox Church’s most venerated places, has 20 monasteries and almost 1,700 monks
  • The community, known for its austere rules, is almost completely isolated in a mountainous nature reserve in the Macedonia region

ATHENS: Eight monks have tested positive for coronavirus and their monastery in a remote Orthodox Christian community in northern Greece has been quarantined, a Church official said on Monday.
One of the monks was taken to hospital in Thessaloniki in a serious condition, said the official who declined to be named.
It is not the first outbreak at the Mount Athos site — four monks tested positive in March after traveling to Britain but recovered quickly.
Mount Athos, a 1,000-year-old site and one of the Orthodox Church’s most venerated places, has 20 monasteries and almost 1,700 monks.
The community, known for its austere rules, is almost completely isolated in a mountainous nature reserve in the Macedonia region.
The country’s lockdown from March to May hit the Church hard, wrecking its Easter celebrations.
Church leaders disputed some of the science behind the confinement rules — agreeing to halt masses but refusing to ban communion.
Greece has so far registered 338 deaths and more than 15,000 infections from the virus.