The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday warned that the new coronavirus "may never go away" and could become just another endemic virus.
"I think it is important we are realistic and I don't think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear," WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan told an online briefing. "I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be."
However, he said the world had some control over how it coped with the disease by putting together "massive effort" to counter it.
"The trajectory is in our hands, and it's everybody's business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic," added WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
More than 100 potential vaccines are being developed, with the official noting that despite having vaccines, illnesses such as measles have still not been eliminated.