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Omicron: WHO Chief Tedros Calls For 'accord On Pandemics' As Situation Is 'perilous'

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for a “new accord on pandemics” in the wake of the “highly-mutated Omicron variant” of coronavirus.

WHO

(IMAGE: AP/ Shutterstock/ Pixabay)


World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for a “new accord on pandemics” in the wake of the “highly-mutated Omicron variant” of coronavirus. In the opening remarks to the special session of WHO’s decision-making body on Monday, World Health Assembly (WHA)Tedros noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and even exacerbated fundamental weaknesses in the global architecture for pandemic preparedness and response.

According to the United Nations (UN) health agency chief, the best way to address the challenges around the global health crisis is to legally bind the nations in an agreement with a vision that the countries have no future but a common future. Now, as the concerns of the Omicron variant continue to spark fears across the globe and has prompted nations to reimpose the restrictions, the WHA yesterday kicked off the special session where the members attempted to negotiate a new “pandemic treaty”.

WHO Director-General Tedros said in his opening remarks, “COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated fundamental weaknesses in the global architecture for pandemic preparedness and response: Complex and fragmented governance; Inadequate financing; And insufficient systems and tools. Voluntary mechanisms have not solved these challenges.”

“The best way we can address them is with a legally binding agreement between nations; an accord forged from the recognition that we have no future but a common future,” he added.

‘Our situation is perilous’

Further stressing on why the world needs an accord for pandemics, Tedros said that situation of the world is “perilous” and “precarious”. While the highly-mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2 was alerted by South African scientists, the WHO chief said that both South Africa and Botswana should be “thanked” for detecting, sequencing and reporting the new variant and “not penalized”.

Tedros added, “Indeed, Omicron demonstrates just why the world needs a new accord on pandemics: our current system disincentivizes countries from alerting others to threats that will inevitably land on their shores.”

“We don’t yet know whether Omicron is associated with more transmission, more severe disease, more risk of reinfections, or more risk of evading vaccines. Scientists at WHO and around the world are working urgently to answer these questions,” WHO head elaborated.

(IMAGE: AP/ Shutterstock/ Pixabay)

 

Tags: Omicron, WHO, UN
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