Top COVID probe urges daring overhaul of pandemic prevention measures 

Top COVID probe urges bold overhaul of pandemic prevention measures 

“Our message is simple and clear: the current system failed to protect us from the COVID-19 pandemic”, stated former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, co-chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. “If we do not act to change it now, it will not protect us from the next pandemic threat, which could happen at any time.” 

Launched by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the impartial panel issued its findings and proposals after an eight-month overview of classes discovered from the previous 12 months. 

Insufficient safety 

“The tools are available to put an end to the severe illnesses, deaths, and socio-economic damage caused by COVID-19”, stated panel co-chair Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, insisting that leaders “have no choice but to act” to cease such a disaster occurring once more.   

 “The current system – at both national and international levels – was not adequate to protect people from COVID-19. The time it took from the reporting of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown origin in mid-late December 2019 to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern being declared, was too long,” the panel stated in a press release on its report, COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic.  

‘Lost month’ 

The panel – whose report accommodates “the authoritative chronology of what happened” – additionally insisted that February 2020 was “a lost month”. 

This was as a result of “many more countries” might have completed extra to include the unfold of the brand new coronavirus after the WHO declared a public well being emergency of worldwide concern on 30 January, after the preliminary outbreak in Wuhan, China. 

“The shelves of storage rooms in the UN and national capitals are full of reports and reviews of previous health crises. Had their warnings been heeded, we would have avoided the catastrophe we are in today. This time must be different,” stated Johnson Sirleaf. 

Unfit for prevention 

Quicker motion “would have helped to prevent the global health, social, and economic catastrophe that continues its grip”, the panel famous, including that “the system as it stands now is clearly unfit to prevent another novel and highly infectious pathogen, which could emerge at any time, from developing into a pandemic”. 

Among its suggestions – and after highlighting how the coronavirus disaster continues to devastate communities – the panel urged Heads of State to take the lead in supporting confirmed public well being measures to curb the pandemic and implement reforms “to prevent a future outbreak” from spreading globally. 

One billion dose name 

The panel additionally suggested high-income international locations with satisfactory vaccine provide to commit to offer “at least one billion” doses to the 92 low and middle-income international locations within the UN-led equitable vaccine scheme, COVAX, by September 2021. 

Major vaccine-producing international locations and producers ought to conform to share mental property rights on their jabs, it stated, guided by the UN well being company and the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

“If actions on this don’t occur within three months, a waiver of intellectual property rights under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights should come into force immediately”, the panel insisted. 

Turning to the world’s wealthiest international locations, referred to as the G7, the panel of main consultants advisable that they need to “immediately” stump up 60 per cent of the $19 billion required for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator for vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and strengthening of well being programs. 

Summit name 

Heads of Government ought to commit to those reforms at a worldwide summit, the panel continued, by adopting a political declaration below the auspices of the UN General Assembly. 

Describing its suggestions as doubtlessly “transformative”, the panel highlighted that these least able to withstanding the pandemic’s myriad shocks had been the worst affected.  

“Up to 125 million more people are estimated to have been pushed into extreme poverty, while 72 million more primary school-age children are now at risk of being unable to read or understand a simple text because of school closures,” the consultants maintained.  

Women have additionally borne a disproportionate burden, they continued, with gender-based violence at report ranges and little one marriages on the rise.  

Underscoring the financial shock of the previous pandemic 12 months, the consultants additionally famous that the world “lost $7 trillion” in financial output – greater than the 2019 GDP of your entire African continent ($6.7 trillion)”. 

Latest toll 

According to WHO there have been greater than 159 million confirmed circumstances of COVID-19 globally, together with over 3.Three million deaths for the reason that pandemic started. In its weekly epidemiological update, the UN well being company famous that some 1.2 billion vaccine doses have been administered. 

The variety of new COVID-19 circumstances and deaths globally has barely decreased up to now week, with over 5.5 million circumstances and over 90,000 deaths.  

But “case and death incidences…remain at the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic”, the WHO bulletin cautioned. New weekly circumstances decreased in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, whereas the South-East Asia Region continued its upward trajectory, reporting an additional six per cent enhance on the earlier seven-day interval.

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