Omicron Shows Why Data, Vaccine Sharing Are Crucial In Covid Fight

The WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said Covid pandemic has proven that health is “an international issue” and called for a paradigm shift in the way it is funded, Peter Beaumont reports.

The head of the World Health Organization has warned member countries that the UN’s global health body is being “set up to fail” without a “paradigm shift” in the way that it is funded and supported.

In stark language delivered to the WHO’s executive board, the organisation’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 5.5 million lives, had underlined the need to strengthen health systems as well as pandemic preparedness plans.

Addressing the specific issue of Covid-19, Tedros also cautioned that conditions remained ideal for more variants to emerge. He said it was dangerous for countries to assume Omicron is the last variant or that “we are in the endgame”.

There are different scenarios for how the pandemic could play out and how the acute phase could end,” he said.

“But it’s dangerous to assume that Omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the endgame,” he added. “On the contrary, globally, the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge.”

He insisted, however, that “we can end Covid-19 as a global health emergency, and we can do it this year,” by reaching goals such as the WHO’s target to vaccinate 70% of the population of each country by the middle of this year, with a focus on people who are at the highest risk of Covid-19.

“It’s true that we will be living with Covid for the foreseeable future and that we will need to learn to manage it through a sustained and integrated system for acute respiratory diseases” to help prepare for future pandemics, he said.

“But learning to live with Covid cannot mean that we give this virus a free ride. It cannot mean that we accept almost 50,000 deaths a week from a preventable and treatable disease.”

The full story is here: ‘Paradigm shift’ needed in way WHO is funded, says director general

Related: ‘Paradigm shift’ needed in way WHO is funded, says director general

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/covid-live-news-omicron-could-mean-e2-80-98pandemic-endgame-e2-80-99-in-europe-who-says/ar-AAT4vFT

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