WHO boss: World must be better prepared for next pandemic

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said COVID-19 is not the last pandemic and countries should invest in public health.
September 09, 2020 | 09:44
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Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland February 24, 2020. Photo: Reuters

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on September 7 that the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic, as he called on countries to invest in public health.

COVID-19 not be the last pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference, “but when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready, more ready than it was this time.”

He said in recent years, many countries have made enormous advances in medicine, but too many have neglected their basic public health systems, which are the foundation for responding to infectious disease outbreaks.

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Medical workers collect samples for COVID-19 testing in Vietnam Photo: VNA

The WHO chief, therefore, called on governments to “invest in public health as an investment in a healthier and safer future.”

“Public health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability. That means investing in population-based services for preventing, detecting and responding to diseases,” he explained. “I call on all countries to invest in public health, and especially primary.”

Some 27 million COVID-cases, 900,000 deaths reported worldwide

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The Southeast Asia region continued to show the highest increase in new coronavirus cases in the past week. Photo: Philstar

Statistics released by WHO on September 7 show that cumulatively, nearly 27 million COVID-19 cases and 900,000 deaths had been reported to the organization to date.

A tally by Reuters puts the number of coronavirus cases to date at 27.19 million and the number of deaths at 888,326.

Over 1.8 million new cases and 37,000 new deaths were reported during the week ending September 6, the WHO said, marking a 5 percent increase in the number of cases and a 2 percent decrease in the number of deaths compared to the week before.

The WHO said the Southeast Asia region continued to show the highest increase in new coronavirus cases in the past week, compared to the previous week, with over 600,000 new cases reported.

An increase in the number of new reported cases was also seen in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, but both new cases and deaths declined in the African and Western Pacific regions compared with the previous week.

The WHO said that reported cases in the Americas rose 1 percent, and deaths fell 4 percent, but it added that the region “continues to carry the highest burden of the disease globally, accounting for nearly half of all new cases reported in the past seven days”./.

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