Next Pandemic Could Be Even Deadlier Than Covid: Warns WHO Chief Tedros


Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, has warned that the world should brace itself for a virus that could be even deadlier than Covid-19. He emphasised the importance of prioritising negotiations aimed at preventing future pandemics during his speech at the annual health assembly in Geneva. Despite the WHO’s declaration that Covid-19 is no longer a public health emergency, Dr Tedros warned that the pandemic is far from over. 

In a viral tweet, which is the snippet from the full address by the WHO chief, Dr Tedros can be seen saying: “The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains. And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains”. 

However, the World Health Organisation recently declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a public health emergency.

“When the next pandemic arrives — and it will,” he says, “we must be ready to respond decisively, collectively, and equitably.”

“We cannot kick this can down the road,” Tedros said in a speech to WHO member countries. “If we do not make the necessary changes, who will?” And if we don’t make them now, when will we?

The 10-day annual World Health Assembly in Geneva, which coincides with the WHO’s 75th anniversary, is expected to address global health issues such as future pandemics, polio eradication, and steps to alleviate Ukraine’s health emergency caused by Russia’s invasion.

Despite these dire warnings, Tedros praised WHO member states’ recent decision to draught a pandemic treaty while also approving a budget increase, which was approved after the organisation committed to budget and finance reforms, according to Reuters.

Tedros also called for new talks on the International Health Regulations, a treaty outlining health-crisis preparedness and response, “so the world will never again have to face the devastation of a pandemic like COVID-19.”

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