Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has warned there is a ‘way above five per cent’ risk the world has not yet seen the worst of the Covid pandemic.
The tech mogul and philanthropist said he did not want to sound ‘doom and gloom’ but warned there was a risk an ‘even more transmissive and even more fatal’ variant could be generated.
He said the risk of that happening is ‘way above five per cent’ and would mean the world has yet to see the worst of the pandemic.
It is not the first time he has made such a prediction. In December 2021, he warned his millions of Twitter followers to brace themselves for the worst part of the pandemic having previously cautioned in 2015 that the world was not ready for the next pandemic.
Gates told the FT: ‘We’re still at risk of this pandemic generating a variant that would be even more transmissive and even more fatal.
‘It’s not likely, I don’t want to be a voice of doom and gloom, but it’s way above a 5 per cent risk that this pandemic, we haven’t even seen the worst of it.’
Covid-19 has killed an estimated 6.2million people worldwide since March 2020, but case numbers and deaths have been dropping in recent weeks.
Gates’ warning comes after Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), this week warned that people still needed to be wary of the virus, and that decreases in overall testing and Covid surveillance in many countries left the world at risk to a resurgence of the virus.
Gates – who releases his new book How to Prevent the Next Pandemic on Tuesday – advised governments across the world to invest in a team of epidemiologists and computer modellers to help identify global health threats in the future.