‘Even deadlier…’: WHO chief warns of next pandemic as Covid-19 cases dip.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the world should be ready for the next pandemic, which might be “even deadlier” than the Covid-19 pandemic. Tedros’s statement comes days after the WHO said Covid-19 was no longer a global emergency, marking a symbolic end to the devastating pandemic that has claimed at least 7 million lives worldwide.

Delivering his report to the 76th World Health Assembly, the UN agency’s decision-making body, Tedros said, “The end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat.”

“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 said.

Furthermore, in the face of overlapping and converging crises, “pandemics are far from the only threat we face”, the WHO head added, underscoring the need for effective global mechanisms that address and respond to emergencies of all kinds.

He added that when the next pandemic comes knocking – and “it will – we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively, and equitably”. 

Tedros said Covid-19 had significant implications for health-related targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have a deadline of 2030. The pandemic also affected progress towards the Triple Billion targets, announced at the 2017 World Health Assembly.

Earlier, Tedros said the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year, acknowledging that most countries have already returned to life before Covid-19. He bemoaned the damage that the pandemic had done to the global community, saying the virus had shattered businesses and plunged millions into poverty.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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