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Be prepared for pandemic worse than COVID-19 – WHO warns countries

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-general, World Health Organization

May 23, 2023

By Reporter

Abuja, Nigeria – The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to be prepared for another pandemic deadlier than the Coronavirus (COVID-19), alerting of an emerging pathogen.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave the warning on Monday during the 76th World Health Assembly in in Geneva, Switzerland while unveiling a new global scheme to spot and track the most dangerous pathogens.

Speaking at the Assembly on “The threat of a new public health crisis that could not be kicked down the road”, Tedros stated that despite the darkest days of the pandemic being consigned to history, a doomsday COVID-19 variant with the power to send the world back to square one could still spawn.

“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.

“And pandemics are far from the only threat we face. In a world of overlapping and converging crises, an effective architecture for health emergency preparedness and response must address emergencies of all kinds,” Ghebreyesus said.

Ghebreyesus added that “this year’s High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Preparedness and Response is a valuable opportunity for leaders to chart a clear path forward towards that future”.

Although the name of the ‘expected’ disease was not mentioned, Ghebreyesus urged everyone to be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably when the pandemic comes knocking

Ghebreyesus warning is coming weeks after the WHO declared that COVID-19 was no longer a public health emergency of international concern. Instead, the virus is now considered an ‘established and ongoing health issue.

The Humanitarian Post

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