World must prepare for the next pandemic now: WHO

WHO said the coronavirus can be defeated with 'science, solutions and solidarity.'

new symptoms, coronavirus, COVID-19, muscle pain, headaches, chills, cough, sneezing
Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on its website that the most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Photo: iStock

The coronavirus can be defeated with “science, solutions and solidarity”, but the world must be prepared for another pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said during the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) held virtually because of COVID-19.

WHO commended countries for effectively tackling the virus. “Although this is a global crisis, many countries and cities have successfully prevented or controlled transmission with a comprehensive, evidence-based approach. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is delivering real results,” WHO said.

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WHO, though, stressed the world must prepare for the next pandemic now. “We’ve seen this past year that countries with robust health emergency preparedness infrastructure have been able to act quickly to contain and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

The WHO further stated that to prepare for the next pandemic, the WHA will consider a draft resolution that strengthens preparedness for health emergencies, such as COVID-19, through more robust compliance with the the international health regulations (2005).

“This resolution calls on the global health community to ensure that all countries are better equipped to detect and respond to cases of COVID-19 and other dangerous infectious diseases,” it said.

The WHO said the COVID-19 pandemic is “a sobering reminder” that health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability. “It reminds us why WHO’s ‘triple billion’ targets are so important, and why countries must pursue them with even more determination, collaboration and innovation.”

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WHO also emphasised a collaborative approach by all countries as the way forward. “The world has rallied behind a plan to accelerate the development of the vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics we need, and to ensure they are available to all countries on the basis of equity.”

WHO also discussed its Immunization Agenda (2030) , the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030, and initiatives taken to address cervical cancer, tuberculosis, eye care, food safety, and preparedness against influenza.

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