COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic, and attempts to improve human health are “doomed” without tackling climate change and animal welfare, the World Health Organization’s chief said at the first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness.
The WHO director-general condemned the “dangerously shortsighted” cycle of throwing cash at outbreaks but not preparing for the next one.
He said we must learn lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added, “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. This is dangerously shortsighted and frankly difficult to understand.”
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board’s September 2019 first annual report on world readiness for health emergencies, published a few months before COVID-19 broke out, said the planet was woefully unprepared for potentially devastating pandemics.