German agency says coronavirus could take two years to run its course

It will take about two years for the coronavirus pandemic to run its course – but that depends on how fast a vaccine becomes available, according to Germany’s public health agency.

Dr. Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, said that between 60 percent and 70 percent of the global population will eventually become infected before recovering and acquiring immunity, Reuters reported.

“Our working assumption is that it will take about two years,” he told a news conference Tuesday, adding that the timing also depends on the speed in which a vaccine is developed and deployed.

“We do not yet know what the death rate will look like in the end,” he said.

Wieler said the institute was raising the risk level in Germany to “high,” noting that without the strict social-distancing measures that Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Monday, the country could see millions of cases.

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