Lazy eyes listen
According to World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Covid-19 pandemic will no longer be considered a global health emergency by the end of this year.
Tedros said he’s “confident that at some point this year we will be able to say that Covid-19 is over as a public health emergency of international concern – and as a pandemic” at the University of Michigan, where he was awarded the Thomas Francis Jr. medal for his contributions to healthcare.
The WHO director-general noted that the weekly number of reported deaths is now lower than when the organization used the term “pandemic” to describe the Covid-19 outbreak three years ago on March 11, 2020.
Tedros emphasized that, while the pandemic is expected to end this year, it is critical to remember the nearly seven million lives lost to the virus and to learn from the outbreak. “If we don’t, we’ll repeat the cycle of panic and neglect that has characterized the global response to epidemics and pandemics for decades,” he warned.
The health official summarized three key lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic. The first point was the significance of public health. Tedros urged all countries, regardless of income level, to invest in a strong primary healthcare system capable of detecting outbreaks at their earliest stages.
According to the health chief, the second lesson was the importance of science and the dangers of politicizing issues such as masks, vaccines, and lockdowns, which ultimately “hampered the response to the pandemic and cost lives.”
He also stated that the question of how the pandemic began remains unanswered due to a “lack of cooperation from China,” which he claims has refused to be transparent in data sharing and conduct “the necessary investigations and share the results.”
Finally, the director-general stated that the third lesson was the value of collaboration. Tedros stated that one of the defining characteristics of the Covid-19 pandemic was the international community’s lack of cooperation and coordination due to “narrow nationalism.”
To that end, the WHO has proposed a ‘pandemic accord,’ which is an agreement between nations to work together to prepare for and respond to future epidemics and pandemics.