With regard to future pandemics, the lack of progress in international health regulations, coupled with economic difficulties, may have left the world in a difficult situation. “worst place” before Covid-19 emerged, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The international community’s pandemic response tools are still inadequate, according to the assessment released this week by WHO’s Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
“We currently have the same tools and the same system that existed in December 2019 to respond to a pandemic threat. And those tools just weren’t good enough,” former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, co-author of the report, told reporters.
“If there was a new pandemic threat this year, next year, or the year after at least, we will be largely in the same place … possibly worse, given the tight fiscal space many countries, if not most, right now”, she added.
Despite an increase in funding, the process of formulating a global plan to respond to health threats is moving too slowly, the authors said, arguing that leaders must combat declining interest in member states.
“Only political leadership at the highest level has the legitimacy to bring together several sectors”, co-author and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in a press release Wednesday.
The authors called for a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to expedite the process of crafting an effective global response to the pandemic.
In the meantime, the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s annual decision-making forum, is due to meet next week in Geneva to address some of the issues raised in the report.
The first known outbreak of the Covid-19 virus occurred in Wuhan, China in 2019 and quickly spread to almost every country. Public health directives and mandates such as mask-wearing, social distancing and vaccination have led to political divisions and fueled protests in some countries. Globally, the WHO recorded 520 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday. He puts the global death toll at around 6.27 million.
You can share this story on social media: