World Health Organization warns the next pandemic will be far more deadly than Covid-19
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the next pandemic will be far worse than the coronavirus.
During a meeting of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the dangers of a new Covid-19 variant emerging would be catastrophic.
“The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains,” Tedros said, as per news.com.au.
“And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.”
And while The WHO ended its global health emergency for Covid-19 earlier this month, the organisation must prep for the next pandemic.
“When the next pandemic comes knocking — and it will — we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably,” he added.
Dr Ghebreyesus added that we are not completely out of the woods yet.
He continued: “If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when?”
But despite raising the alarm, he praised The WHO for drafting a treaty, which was approved after the organisation committed to implementing reforms for the next pandemic.
"A commitment from this generation (to a pandemic accord) is important, because it is this generation that experienced how awful a small virus could be," he said.
Countries under The WHO have started negotiations on a global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response to protect communities and nations from future pandemic emergencies.
Negotiations on the draft will continue over the next year according to a timetable laid out by the organisation.
Mr Roland Driece, Co-Chair of the INB Bureau, from the Netherlands said in a statement: “The start of discussions of concrete language for the WHO pandemic accord sends a clear signal that countries of the world want to work together for a safer, healthier future where we are better prepared for, and able to prevent future pandemic threats, and respond to them effectively and equitably.”
Along with the treaty, the organisation and governments are also discussing 300 potential reforms to the International Health Regulations (2005) in an effort to make the world safer from communicable diseases and guarantee greater equity in response to public health emergencies.
Dr Ghebreyesus has advocated for these changes to ensure ‘the world will never again have to face the devastation of a pandemic like Covid-19’.
To date, the Covid-19 pandemic has killed almost seven million people.