WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Photo: AFP

As the world awaits for COVID-19 vaccine, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the coronavirus crisis will not be the last pandemic.

According to a report by NDTV, in a video message marking Sunday's first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, Tedros said: "History tells us that this will not be the last pandemic, and epidemics are a fact of life."

The WHO chief said it was time to learn the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. "For too long, the world has operated on a cycle of panic and neglect ... We throw money at an outbreak, and when it's over, we forget about it and do nothing to prevent the next one," Tedros said, adding that current mechanisms are "dangerously short-sighted, and frankly difficult to understand."

He also said the pandemic has "highlighted the intimate link between the health of humans, animals, and planet," and warned that climate change is making earth less habitable.

Tedros said all countries should invest in preparedness capacities to prevent, detect, and mitigate emergencies of all kinds, and called for stronger primary health care provision.

"Strong primary healthcare is especially important as the foundation of universal health coverage," he said, adding that "true preparedness" requires an "all-of-government and all-of-society approach."

According to the report, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board's September 2019 first annual report on world readiness for health emergencies said the planet was woefully unprepared for potentially devastating pandemics.

Meanwhile, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 80 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.75 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Sunday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 80,282,523 and 1,756,584, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 18,943,541 and 331,754, respectively, according to the CSSE.

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