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Kamala Harris Tells UN 'time To Prepare For Next Pandemic'; Adds 'unwise' To Remain Easy

US Vice President Kamala Harris said that “At the same time that the world works to get through this pandemic, we also know that we must prepare for the next.”

Kamala Harris

(Image Credit: AP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday told world leaders that it was time to put in serious work into how the world was going to respond to the next pandemic. Speaking at the virtual UN meet co-hosted by the permanent representatives of Argentina, Japan, Norway, and South Africa, the US Vice President said “At the same time that the world works to get through this pandemic, we also know that we must prepare for the next.” Her remarks came as more than 40 percent of the US population, and at least 75 percent of high-risk vulnerable groups were fully vaccinated as Biden administration ramped up the inoculation drive making jabs available for all adults.

US has been administering an estimated 49 doses per 100 people, as per local press reports, while across some states more than eight in 10 seniors were immunized against the COVID-19, which continues to wreak havoc across many countries in the world, including India. However, in her speech made remotely, Monday, Harris stressed that as they’ve been successfully dealing with the health crisis, the leaders must now turn attention to the future outbreaks.

Harris suggests world leaders must focus on gearing up their health systems, invest in science, health workers, and the well-being of women, and surge capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccine and test manufacturing. She stressed, that much has been learned about the lack of preparedness last year when the coronavirus pandemic hit the world. She called it “unwise” to remain easy and not take robust measures in advance to effectively tackle such a daring health crisis. 

“We have been reminded that the status quo is not nearly good enough, and that innovation is indeed the path forward,” Harris was quoted as saying  by AP. 

'Lot of work to do,' Biden says

As Biden administration, this week marks its first 100 days in office, US President is set to deliver remarks about the response that his administration delivered to tackle one of the most challenging public health crises in over a century. On April 19, Biden had pushed the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility target for all adults as he called the variant wave a “life-and-death race”. He warned, stressing the danger of the pandemic that even as America’s vaccination campaign was in ‘overdrive’, and inoculations were in incredible progress, the US wasn’t “at the finish line” yet. “We’re still in a life-and-death race against this virus,” Biden stated while delivering remarks following his visit to a vaccination clinic at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. Furthermore, he added, inspire of the vaccination, there was still “a lot of work to do” to manage the pandemic-like health chaos in near future. 

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