GENEVA— On Monday, August 3, the director of the World Health Organization warned that there may never be a “silver bullet” for defeating the novel coronavirus.

According to a Reuters tally, over 18.14 million people around the world are reported to have been infected with the disease and 688,080​ have died.

“A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesussaid at a media briefing at the United Nations body’s headquarters in Geneva.

He added: “For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control. Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts… For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others.”

There are currently six COVID-19 vaccine candidates in late-stage testing or near it.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a White House coronavirus task force member, said that he is “cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021.” Though, he does not think it will be eradicated in its entirety.