Global reform efforts to prevent new epidemics have been slow and fragmented, leaving the world in the same state as it was when the COVID-19 epidemic broke out more than two years ago. This is a newly published warning by an independent panel of experts.
The Independent Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Response is co-chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. A year ago, this committee submitted a report to the World Health Organization, highlighting that poor coordination has facilitated the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this new report, the committee assesses that after a year the world is still acting sporadically, this is setting the stage for another pandemic to spread.
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said: “We are still mainly using tools and systems that have existed since December 2019 to respond to the risk of a pandemic, these tools are not effective enough. At the current rate, it will take many years to get an effective system in place while the threat of a pandemic could strike at any time.If that happens this year, next year or the year after, then we will be in a situation like December 2019.”
In addition, the report also appreciates the reform work at the global level to prevent the risk of a new pandemic, with many new mechanisms established after the COVID-19 outbreak, helping to distribute approximately 1.5 billion doses of vaccine to poor countries, along with efforts to diversify the supply of vaccines and antiviral drugs. However, these changes happen very slowly. Therefore, although many countries are transitioning to the stage of living with COVID-19, the report emphasizes that this is not the time to be subjective because the pandemic is not over yet.
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