Geneva: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the world must be better prepared when the next pandemic strikes as he called on countries to invest more in public health.
“This will not be the last pandemic,” Tedros told a news briefing in Geneva, referring to coronavirus which has claimed nearly 9 lakh lives across the world and as cases rose over 2.7 crore.
“History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time,” he said.
Earlier, the WHO chief had warned against covid ‘vaccine nationalism’, calling on countries around the world to join forces to tackle the coronavirus.
“In our interconnected world, if people in low and middle-income countries miss out on vaccines, the virus will continue to kill and the economic recovery globally will be delayed. So, using vaccines as a global public good is in the national interest of each and every country. Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it,” he said.
Tedros had said 78 high-income countries had now joined the “COVAX” global vaccine allocation plan, bringing the total to 170 countries, adding that joining the plan guaranteed those countries access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines.
The WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading the COVAX facility, aimed at helping buy and distribute vaccination shots fairly around the world.
But some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join COVAX.
Gavi is a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for those living in the world’s poorest countries. (Livemint.com)