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WHO Chief Tedros warns of next pandemic, urge nations to be prepared

The warning comes weeks after the WHO head announced that the Covid-19 pandemic is no longer a public health emergency as the cases started stabilising across the world

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addresses delegates during the first day of the 75th World Health Assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, May 22, 2

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday issued a warning that the world must get ready for the next pandemic. 

Addressing the 76th World Health Assembly, Tedros said the next pandemic could be 'even deadlier' than the Coronavirus pandemic.  

The warning comes weeks after the WHO head announced that the Covid-19 pandemic is no longer a public health emergency as the cases started stabilising across the world.

During the World Health Assembly, Tedros said that the end of Covid-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of Covid-19 as a global health threat.

Tedros while presenting the report at the Assembly said, "The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains, and the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains"
During his address on Monday, the WHO chief also added even though Covid-19 may no longer be a global public health emergency, countries must still strengthen their response to the disease and prepare for future pandemics and other threats.

He also advised that when the next pandemic comes knocking, which it will, we must be ready to answer decisively and collectively. 

Underscoring the need for effective mechanisms to address and respond to all kinds of emergencies, Tedros highlighted that in the face of overlapping crises, 'pandemics are far from the only threat we face'.

Under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have a deadline of 2030, the Covid-19 pandemic had significant implications for health-related targets.

The pandemic also impacted the progress made toward the Triple Billion target, which was announced at the 2017 World Health Assembly. 

Tedros also added, "The pandemic has blown us off the course, but it has shown us why the SDGs must remain our north star, and why we must pursue them with the same urgency and determination with which we countered the pandemic."

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First Published: May 24 2023 | 6:31 PM IST

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