World remains unprepared to face new pandemics: panel

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Efforts to make global adjustments to best eliminate the new threat of an outbreak have been slow and fragmented, leaving the world unprepared as when COVID-19 first appeared, a report said Wednesday.

One year ago, a panel of independent experts submitted a scathing report to the World Health Organization’s annual general assembly complaining that inconsistencies and poor decision-making have allowed COVID to spread to such a terrible tragedy.

At the time, the Independent Committee on Prevention and Response Program, chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, drafted a series of measures needed to curb COVID and ensure that the world is well prepared. to face future threats.

But in a one-year assessment report, the retired committee warned that the world was still “rising” and its inaction was laying the groundwork for a “pandemic outbreak”.

“We have the same equipment and the same system that existed in December 2019 to deal with the threat of the disease,” Clark told reporters.

“These tools are not good.”

All is not well. Clark praised that “the work needed for change at the global level to prevent further outbreaks has begun.”

She pointed out how new methods established after the advent of COVID have enabled the delivery of nearly 1.5 billion vaccines you poor countriesHe also praised the ongoing efforts to provide immunizations and immunizations.

Agreements are also expected to lead to more secure and easier funding for WHO, while voluntary fund plans are making an impact.

Changes to the World Health Organization are being considered, and discussions are under way on new “legal instruments” – such as treaties or treaties – aimed at streamlining the global system. epidemic preparations and response.

‘There is no time for pleasure’

But Clark warns that all of these changes are moving fast, with the WHO budget change, for example, not expected to be fully implemented in nearly a decade.

“In the current situation, the improved system is for years, when the threat of the disease could occur at any time,” she said.

“If there was a new epidemic threat this year, next year, or next year, at least, we would be in the same place as we were in December 2019.”

At the same time, COVID-19 virus status continues to rise.

Clark points out that since the committee presented its own report One year ago, an additional 2.8 million COVID deaths were officially released, and this “clearly indicates that millions of people do not count.”

“Unfortunately, no matter how we want the situation to be, the disease is not over,” Clark said, complaining that “political efforts to combat COVID-19 waves are declining.”

“This is not a happy time.”

Joanne Liu, a doctor and former member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), criticized the failure to ensure consistency in access to vaccines and other tools needed to end the disease.

“More than a year and a half after we did an amazing discovery of the vaccine, more than 2.8 billion people in the world are still waiting for the shot,” she told reporters. corruption and injustice seen in the world. epidemic answer as the “common character stain in our history.”

“We can do better.”

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