COVID-19

WHO warns of ‘another virus’ deadlier than COVID; calls for better governance & financing

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 24 addressed the opening of the UN health agency’s annual assembly and warned that there will be another virus with the potential to be more transmissible. During the 74th World Health Assembly, he said that the “greatest drivers” of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the “lack of international solidarity and sharing”. Tedros noted that if anyone is left behind, all are held back and further warned that that the world still remains in a “very dangerous situation”.

The WHO chief said that the only way to win over the virus is by protecting the most vulnerable first. He said that if the furthest behind is the first to be helped and if the weakest is first to be strengthened, then “we all will win”. Tedros said that the International Health Regulations remain the cornerstone of the global governance for pandemic preparedness and response. But he added that their implementation is, however, “inconsistent” and has not led to the level of commitment and action needed.

Tedros calls for ‘better governance, financing’

Further, Tedros called for “better governance” that is inclusive and representative of every Member state. He called for “better financing” to strengthen capacities, support rapid response, and fund the research and development, manufacturing and deployment of life-saving tools. He even added that the world needs “better systems” that are built locally and linked globally in an “unbreakable chain”.

Tedros opened the session with the main focus on the impact of COVID-19 and equality in vaccine rollout. He noted that the pandemic has been a “significant setback in our efforts to support the Member States to progress towards universal health coverage”. He also said that “for almost 18 months, health and care workers all over the world have stood in the breach between life and death”.

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