WHO wants world leaders to unite
International Live: Six months on since declaring a pandemic, the WHO chief said the lack of solidarity and leadership among world powers was “what worries me most” in the fight against Covid-19.
World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new coronavirus was still spreading around the planet precisely due to the gaps between the major players in combatting the disease.
Though the UN health agency declared a public health emergency of international concern its highest level of alarm on January 30, Tedros first described the outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, capturing public attention.
Reflecting on this point in the crisis during a virtual news conference, Tedros said: “What worries me most is… a lack of solidarity.
“Because when solidarity lacks, and when we’re divided, that’s a very good opportunity for the virus and that’s why it’s still spreading.
The United States is pulling out of the WHO, with President Donald Trump accusing it of being too slow to declare a pandemic and too close to China.
And the WHO-led ACT-Accelerator progamme, a global collaboration to hunt for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, has so far only received less than a tenth of the required funding.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the near $3 billion contributed so far had been critical for the initial phase since the accelerator’s launch four months ago.
However, $35 billion more was needed to shift from start-up to scale-up beginning with $15 billion in the next three months.
WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said that in the last six months, the pandemic had hit the world hard but warned the end was not yet in sight.
“We mourn the loss of the people who have been lost, we celebrate the bravery of our front-line health workers… we stand with those people who are feeling the pain from this pandemic,” he said.
Dhaka, 11 September (campuslive24.com)//MI