LONDON (Reuters) – The fight against the novel coronavirus is a marathon not a sprint and lifting the lockdown may involve drugs and not just vaccines, the medical director of England’s national health service said on Saturday.

NHS England’s medical director Stephen Powis said vaccines were not the only component of an exit strategy from lockdown.

“There is no magical solution that doesn’t require difficult decisions,” Powis. “This was never going to be a sprint over a few weeks; this is going to be longer, it is going to be a marathon.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden)