World Health Organization chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the world should be prepared for a future virus that could be even deadlier than COVID-19. Speaking at the annual health assembly in Geneva, he emphasised the need to prioritise negotiations aimed at preventing future pandemics.
Despite the declaration by the WHO that COVID-19 is no longer a health emergency, Dr. Tedros cautioned that the ongoing pandemic is far from over.
Tedros said that the world must prepare for a virus that is „even deadlier“ than Covid which he stated has killed at least 20 million, reported The Independent.
“The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains,“ Tedros said. “And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.“
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“The world was taken by surprise and found unprepared for the Covid-19 pandemic, the most severe health crisis in a century,“ he was quoted as saying by The Mirror.
Speaking at the assembly weeks after ending the global emergency status for the COVID-19 pandemic, Tedros said it was time to advance negotiations on preventing the next pandemic.
„We cannot kick this can down the road,“ the WHO director-general said in a major address to the agency’s member states, warning that the next pandemic was bound to „come knocking“.
„If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when?“ he said.
The 10-day annual World Health Assembly in Geneva, which coincides with the WHO’s 75th anniversary, is set to address global health challenges including future pandemics, eradicating polio and supporting steps to ease Ukraine’s health emergency triggered by Russia’s invasion.