World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday (September 7) warned that coronavirus COVID-19 is not the last pandemic and the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic. The WHO chief said that countries must invest in public health to tackle the next pandemic in a better manner.

More than 27.19 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 888,326? have died, according to a Reuters tally, since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

“This will not be the last pandemic. History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time,” Tedros said at a press conference in Geneva.

The WHO review committee established to assess the performance of its International Health Regulations during the global coronavirus pandemic will begin its work on Tuesday, the health body`s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.

“Tomorrow, the review committee of the International Health Regulations will begin its work. The International Health Regulation is the most important legal instrument in global health security. As a reminder, the review committee will evaluate the functioning of the IHR during the pandemic so far and recommend any changes it believes are necessary,” Tedros said during the press briefing on Monday.

“It will review the convening of the Emergency Committee, the declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, the role and functioning of international IHR focal points, and will examine the progress made in implementing the recommendations of previous International Health Regulation review committees,” Tedros added.

Meanwhile, a senior WHO adviser has said that the global health body is in talks with India about joining the “COVAX” global vaccine allocation plan. Bruce Aylward told Reuters that India is eligible just like other countries in the world to be part of the COVAX facility and discussions are ongoing in that regard.

Aylward added that the WHO will welcome Indian participation as the country has wide experience with vaccines.

The WHO adviser made the statement days after Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said India’s first vaccine against the coronavirus could hit the market in 2020.

(With agency inputs)

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