Coronavirus Disaster Could Have Been Prevented - Report
The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response report, commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that the coronavirus disaster could have been prevented.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf one of the report’s authors said the coronavirus disaster could have been prevented if the nations had learnt from the past. He said:
_An outbreak of a new pathogen, Sars CoV-2 became a catastrophic pandemic that has now killed more than 3.25 million people, and continues to threaten lives and livelihoods all over the world. It is due to a myriad of failures, gaps and delays in preparedness and response._Feedback
The report of the panel, chaired by Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand and Sirleaf, former president of Liberia, had a number of key findings:
- Years of warnings of an inevitable pandemic threat were not acted despite the increasing rate at which zoonotic diseases are emerging.
- A ‘wait and see’ approach rather than enacting aggressive containment strategies.
- Member States had underpowered WHO to do the job demanded of it.
- Some countries deliberately neglected the implementation of public health measures that kept illness and death to a minimum.
The report also called for urgent action to prevent such a preventable disaster from happening again. Reads the report:
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_The world cannot afford to focus only on Covid-19. It must learn from this crisis, and plan for the next one. Otherwise, precious time and momentum will be lost. That is why our recommendations focus on the future._
The report made a long list of recommendations to combat the immediate crisis and some to prevent future ones. These include but are not limited to:
- G7 countries should immediately commit to provide 60% of the $19billion required to fund a WHO partnership in 2021 to fight the disease including vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and strengthening of health systems.
- Establish a high-level Global Health Threats Council led by heads of state and government.
- Establish the financial independence of WHO based on fully un-earmarked resources, and on an increase in member states’ fees to two-thirds of the WHO base programme budget.
- All national governments to update their national preparedness plans against targets and benchmarks to be set by WHO within six months.
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