The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the next pandemic could be “even deadlier” than the COVID-19 pandemic, NY Post reported.
WHO head Dr. Tedros expresses concerns about ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
During a recent gathering of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, expressed concerns regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Tedros emphasized that despite the passage of time, the pandemic is still far from its conclusion, highlighting the need for continued attention and efforts to effectively combat the virus.
“The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains,” Dr. Tedros stated. “And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.”
However, the WHO has recently announced that the COVID-19 pandemic no longer holds the status of a health emergency.
“When the next pandemic comes knocking — and it will — we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably,” the head of WHO added.
“We cannot kick this can down the road,” Dr. Tedros addressed WHO’s member states. “If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when?”
Dr. Tedros urges further reforms and to prepare for health emergencies
Although Dr. Tedros expressed grave concerns, he commended the recent actions taken by WHO member states, including the drafting of a pandemic treaty and the approval of a budget increase.
These decisions were made following the organization’s commitment to implement budget and finance reforms, as reported by Reuters. Dr. Tedros also urged for renewed discussions on updating the International Health Regulations, the treaty that outlines preparedness and responses to health emergencies.
According to the organization, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the loss of nearly 7 million lives globally, including approximately 1.13 million deaths in the United States. In New York alone, the virus claimed the lives of over 80,000 individuals.
The WHO has identified specific infectious diseases as “priority” due to their potential to trigger the next pandemic. These diseases possess the ability to spread extensively across regions and are concerning due to the lack of effective measures currently in place to control their transmission.