World Health Organizations (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday (December 26) said that the COVID-19 crisis will not be the last pandemic and all steps taken to improve human health are “doomed” if the global community fails to tackle climate change and animal welfare.
In a video message marking Sunday’s first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, Chief Tedros also condemned the “dangerously short-sighted” cycle of throwing cash at outbreaks but doing nothing to prepare for the next one.
The International Day of Epidemic Preparedness was called for by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the importance of prevention, preparedness and partnership in tackling epidemics.
The WHO director-general said it was time to learn the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For too long, the world has operated on a cycle of panic and neglect… We throw money at an outbreak, and when it’s over, we forget about it and do nothing to prevent the next one. This is dangerously short-sighted, and frankly difficult to understand,” he said.
“History tells us that this will not be the last pandemic, and epidemics are a fact of life…
The pandemic has highlighted the intimate links between the health of humans, animals and planet…
Any efforts to improve human health are doomed unless they address the critical interface between humans and animals, and the existential threat of climate change that’s making our earth less habitable,” said Tedros.
In yet another grim milestone, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 80 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.75 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 18,943,541 and 331,754, respectively, according to the CSSE.
“In the past 12 months, our world has been turned upside-down. The impacts of the pandemic go far beyond the disease itself, with far-reaching consequences for societies and economies,” said Tedros.
Tedros said all countries should invest in preparedness capacities to prevent, detect and mitigate emergencies of all kinds, and called for stronger primary health care provision.one month