The world had a chance to prevent a pandemic, but it exploded
A jury of 13 independent experts responsible for assessing the global response to the crisis said the Covid-19 pandemic could have been a preventable disaster.
Their report, published on 12 May and commissioned by the WHO, warned leaders around the world that they had not been warned more than once, that when they lost time, they needed supplies to store information and despair and did not take the crisis seriously. While some countries took aggressive steps to stop the spread of the virus, “many countries, including some of the richest, made science more expensive, denied the severity of the disease, delayed the response and sowed distrust among citizens, literally with deadly consequences.” said on Wednesday Helen Clark, chair of the Independent Pandemic Preparedness and Response Panel and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Report –COVID-19: Becoming the Last Pandemic – examines why we did not stop the spread of coronavirus, and looks to the future, highlighting strategies to end the current crisis and avoiding future ones.
Here are five key purchases:
- We had a chance to prevent disaster in early 2020, and we wasted it. “As the authors write,” poor strategic choices, a unwillingness to deal with inequality, and a combination of uncoordinated systems created a toxic cocktail.
- The supply of vaccines must be increased and the shots redistributed. The report calls on rich countries to provide a billion doses of vaccine to low- and middle-income countries by September 2021 and another billion by mid-next year. It also encourages vaccine manufacturers to offer licensing and technology transfer agreements. If these agreements are not reached within three months, it requires an automatic waiver so that production can begin where most shots are needed.
- The World Health Organization needs more power and money. The WHO should be empowered in the short term to study pandemic pathogens in any country and to publish information on outbreaks without the approval of national governments.
- A new organization is needed to support the WHO. The report calls for the formation of a Council of World Health Threats composed of heads of state to ensure that countries are committed to pandemic preparedness and that they do not prevent outbreaks from holding countries accountable.
- The impact of the pandemic on almost every aspect of daily life is excessive. More than 3 million people have died as a result of covid-19, including at least 17,000 health workers. The crisis provided “the deepest shock to the global economy since World War II and the greatest simultaneous contraction of national economies since the Great Depression,” the panel wrote, adding that the crisis has pushed more than 100 million people into extreme poverty. “, they added.