With Even Deadlier Potential: WHO Chief Warns Of Next Pandemic As Covid Cases Dip
World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a stark warning, urging the world to prepare for the next pandemic, which he believes could be even deadlier than the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. His cautionary remarks came as global COVID-19 cases show signs of stabilization.
“The end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat,” Tedros said.
Speaking at the 76th World Health Assembly, Tedros emphasised that the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency does not signify the end of its threat. He highlighted the persistent danger of new variants emerging and causing surges of disease and death. Additionally, he stressed the possibility of another pathogen emerging with even greater potential for devastation.
The WHO chief presented his report to the assembly, underscoring the need for effective global mechanisms that can address and respond to emergencies of various kinds, especially in the face of overlapping and converging crises.
He also emphasised the importance of readiness, collective action, and equitable responses when confronted with the next pandemic.
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Furthermore, Tedros highlighted the significant implications of COVID-19 on health-related targets set under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have a deadline of 2030. The pandemic has disrupted progress towards achieving the Triple Billion targets, which were announced during the 2017 World Health Assembly.
Tedros’ warning serves as a reminder that the world must remain vigilant and prepared for future public health crises. It emphasizes the need for ongoing global cooperation, investment in healthcare infrastructure, and the development of robust strategies to detect, respond to, and mitigate the impact of potential pandemics.
Story first published: Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 19:44 [IST]
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