Bill Gates has predicted that the world will be "completely back to normal" by the end of 2022, overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stressing that the pandemic has been an "incredible tragedy", the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist has heightened hopes that the virus could be brought to bay across the world in less than two years.
"By the end of 2022 we should be basically completely back to normal," Gates told Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and television broadcaster TVN24.
He added that the only good news during these stressful times was the access to coronavirus vaccines.
Gates' comments came weeks after he noted in an interview on the social media app Clubhouse that he supposed that people could consider changing their behaviour "in a significant way" in the spring or summer of 2021.
Gates, a billionaire who stepped down as chairman of Microsoft Corp. in 2014, has, through his philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, committed at least $1.75 billion to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That includes support for some makers of vaccines, diagnostics, and potential treatments.
The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), aims to secure 2 billion vaccine doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.
Although Gates is one of the leading public figures in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he has also been a target of many conspiracy theories.
Several theories linking the Microsoft co-founder to coronavirus have flooded social media ever since the pandemic broke, including a bizarre one that states COVID-19 is a cover so he can plant microchips in people to control them.