The coronavirus pandemic could continue into 2022 and will not be under control until most of the world population becomes immune, said a report released by experts.
"The length of the pandemic will likely be 18 to 24 months, as herd immunity gradually develops in the human population," the researchers wrote in a report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Citing the most recent flu pandemic, the report pointed out the highly transmissible coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will likely keep spreading for as long as two years and will likely not stop spreading until 60 to 70 percent of the population is immune, The Hill reported
"Because of a longer incubation period, more asymptomatic spread and a higher R0, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than flu," the report said.
Researchers recommended that the US prepare for a worst-case scenario, including no vaccine availability or herd immunity.
"Risk communication messaging from government officials should incorporate the concept that this pandemic will not be over soon and that people need to be prepared for possible periodic resurgences of disease over the next two years," they said.
Coronavirus, which has wreaked havoc around the world, has so far killed over 2,60,000 people and infected over 32 million others.
The report comes at a time when governments around the world are loosening social distancing restrictions meant to stem the spread of the virus.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this week that a second wave of coronavirus is "inevitable," as the virus is highly contagious and has spread across the world.