World Health Organization Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday warned that the coronavirus crisis will not be the last pandemic.
In a video message marking Sunday’s first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, Tedros said all countries must invest in preparedness capacities to prevent, detect and mitigate emergencies of all kinds because “history tells us that this will not be the last pandemic, and epidemics are a fact of life.”
“Strong primary healthcare is especially important as the foundation of universal health coverage,” he said, adding that “true preparedness” requires an “all-of-government and all-of-society approach.”
“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,” Tedros said, adding that current mechanisms are “dangerously short-sighted, and frankly difficult to understand.”
He also said the pandemic has “highlighted the intimate link between the health of humans, animals and planet,” and warned that climate change is making earth less habitable.
“Any efforts to improve human health are doomed” without fighting climate change, Tedros emphasized.
A few months before the coronavirus broke out, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board published its first annual report on world readiness for health emergencies and said that the world was not equipped for potentially devastating pandemics.
The United Nations General Assembly called for a day marking a day of epidemic preparedness to promote the importance of prevention and partnership in overcoming epidemics.
Main Photo: A worker of Arsalan Help Line Welfare sprays disinfectant in St. Peter’s Catholic Church, ahead of Christmas, during selective lockdown after new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Karachi, Pakistan. EPA-EFE/SHAHZAIB AKBER
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