Shafaq News/ Bill Gates said he expects that coronavirus-related lockdowns could drag on into 2022 with restaurants closing their doors for the next six months.
The Microsoft founder offered his predictions during an interview with CNN on Sunday as the US set new records for new cases, hospitalizations and deaths over a seven-day period.
Asked how bad he thinks the COVID-19 crisis will get in the next few months before vaccines become widely available, Gates said 'Well, sadly, the next four to six months could be the worst of the epidemic.”
'Forecast shows over 200,000 additional deaths. If we would follow the rules in terms of wearing masks and not mixing, we could avoid a large percentage of those deaths. So in the near term, it's bad news.'
'You don't want somebody you love to be the last to die of coronavirus,' he added.
Gates noted that deciding whether to keep schools open is more 'complicated' than other businesses because the benefits of in-person learning are high while transmission rates among children are low.
'Tradeoffs will have to be made, but the next four to six months really call on us to do our best because we can see that this will end,' he said.
Asked when does he think life will fully return to what we thought of as normal life, Gates replied, “Certainly, by the summer we will be way closer to normal than we are now - but even through early 2022, unless we help other countries get rid of this disease and we get high vaccinations rates in our country, the risk of reintroduction will be there.”
“And, of course, the global economy will be slowed down, which hurts America economically in a pretty dramatic way. “
'So we will have, starting in the summer, about nine months where a few things like big public gatherings will still be restricted.
'But we can see now that somewhere between 12 to 18 months, we have a chance, if we manage it well, to get back to normal.'
In August, Gates Foundation Donates $150 Million to distribute Covid-19 Vaccine to developing Nations as they struggle with accelerating Pandemic, then in November Melinda Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committing $70 million to develop and deliver affordable vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.