World needs to be ready for even deadlier pandemic than Covid: WHO Chief
The world must get ready for the next pandemic, which might be "even deadlier" than the Covid-19 pandemic, the Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a warning.
These remarks come at a time when Covid-19 cases are somewhat stabilising around the world.
"The end of Covid-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of Covid-19 as a global health threat," Tedros warned.
"The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains, and the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains," he added.
The WHO Director-General remarked on this when presenting his report to the 76th World Health Assembly.
Furthermore, "pandemics are far from the only threat we face" in the face of overlapping and converging crises, he warned, emphasising the need for effective global mechanisms that address and respond to emergencies of all types.
"When the next pandemic comes knocking-and it will-we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively, and equitably," he said.
Tedros stated that Covid-19 had important implications for health-related targets under the SDGs, which have a 2030 timeframe.
The pandemic also hampered progress towards the Triple Billion objectives, which were proclaimed at the World Health Assembly in 2017.
The five-year initiative aims to provide one billion more people with universal health coverage, one billion more are better protected from health emergencies, and another billion enjoy greater health and well-being.
"The pandemic has blown us off course, but it has shown us why the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must remain our north star, and why we must pursue them with the same urgency and determination with which we countered the pandemic," the WHO head said.
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- With inputs from agencies