'This will not be the last pandemic, world must be ready', says WHO Chief Ghebreyesus

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 07, 2020, 10.01 PM(IST)

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Photograph:( AFP )

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World Health Organization’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said that the world must prepare itself for another pandemic

World Health Organization’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said that the world must prepare itself for another pandemic, and to be better prepared this time. At the same time, he urged countries to invest in public health.

Globally, over 27.19 million people have been infected by novel coronavirus so far, and 888,326 deaths have been reported according to a Reuters tally. The first case was identified in China in December 2019.

Also read: Widespread Covid-19 vaccinations not expected until mid-2021: WHO

"This will not be the last pandemic," Tedros said during a news briefing in Geneva. 

"History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time”, he added.

The World Health Organization does not expect widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 until the middle of next year, a spokeswoman said 

On Friday, the World Health Organization said that it does not expect widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 until the middle of next year, while stressing the importance of stringent checks on the effectiveness and safety of any potential vaccine.

"We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year," spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva.

Also read: WHO's independent panel to submit report on pandemic response next year

"This phase 3 must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is," she added.

All data from trials ought to be shared and compared, Harris said. "A lot of people have been vaccinated and what we don't know is whether the vaccine works...at this stage we do not have the clear signal of whether or not it has the level of worthwhile efficacy and safety...," she added.

The WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance have set up a global vaccine allocation programme known as COVAX to help buy and distribute shots fairly across the world. As part of this, the focus is on first vaccinate the most high-risk people in every country, for instance - healthcare workers.

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