- Panel called for setting up of a high-level Global Health Threats Coucil
- Strengthen the independence, authority and financing of WHO: Panel
- International system could have been different, and prevented COVID: Panel
Geneva: The world had ignored warnings which resulted in the outbreak of COVID-19, and the international system could have prevented it from escalating in to the devastating pandemic, an independent global panel concluded on Wednesday (May 12). The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) in its report said, “It is clear to the Panel that the world was not prepared and had ignored warnings which resulted in a massive failure: an outbreak of SARS-COV-2 became a devastating pandemic.”
After analyzing the early response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the probe panel concluded that “the international system could have been different, and prevented it from escalating into the devastating pandemic it became.” The panel concluded that the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) did not lead to an urgent, coordinated, worldwide response.
It was not until the number of COVID-19 cases increased dramatically and COVID-19 had spread internationally that governments took serious action to prevent transmission, the panel said.
It further said that countries that devalued science failed to build trust in their response and pursued inconsistent strategies that left them lagging behind the epidemic and with high infection and death rates.
In a bid to avoid future pandemics, the panel called for the setting up of a high-level Global Health Threats Council led by Heads of State and Government.
Strengthen the independence, authority and financing of WHO. Strengthen the authority and independence of the Director-General, including by having a single term of office of seven years with no option for re-election, the panel further recommended.
Furthermore, the panel called for granting explicit authority to the world health bodies to publish information about outbreaks with pandemic potential immediately without requiring the prior approval of the national government. According to the Johns Hopkins University, 160,058,714 cases and 3,326,305 deaths have been reported globally.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.