`Conditions are ideal for more transmissible, more dangerous variants to emerge`

Omicron BA.2 subvariant likely to spread globally: WHO

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for cooperation and cooperation to confront the common threats from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The WHO chief made the remarks during a panel discussion titled “Get Well Soon: Finding a Way Out of the Epidemic” during the ongoing Munich Security Conference (MSC) on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

He called the narrative “alarming” that the pandemic was over in some countries with high vaccine coverage and denied the claim that the Omicron variant was less severe.

Tedros recalled that every week 70,000 people were dying from a preventable and treatable disease; 83 percent of the population in Africa had not yet received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; And that health care systems around the world continue to strain and crack under the caseload.

“Indeed, conditions are ideal for more permeable, more dangerous forms to emerge,” he said.

“We may end the COVID-19 pandemic as a global health emergency this year. We have the tools. We have the information.”

Tedros called on all countries to urgently fill the USD 16 billion funding gap for Access to the COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to provide vaccines, tests, treatments and personal protective equipment globally.

The ACT-Accelerator was established in April 2020, just weeks after the pandemic was declared, to accelerate the development and access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. COVAX, a global vaccine solidarity initiative, is one of its four pillars.

“Compared to the cost of another year of economic turmoil, $16 billion is, frankly, peanuts,” he said.

According to Tedros, substantial resources at the national and global level were needed to strengthen global health security. “Ending this pandemic should be our focus. At the same time, we should learn the lesson it is teaching us”.

He emphasized that any effort to strengthen the global health security framework could only succeed by emphasizing the role of the WHO, rather than creating new mechanisms, which he believed would only lead to further fragmentation. And would potentially leave the world less safe.

Confusion and inconsistency have fueled the pandemic, he stressed, adding that “we need cooperation and cooperation in the face of common threats”. There is a need for robust systems and tools to prevent, detect and respond rapidly to epidemics and pandemics.

Tedros concluded his speech by answering the question raised at the beginning – when will the COVID-19 pandemic end?

“It will end when we choose to end it. Ultimately, it’s not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice,” he said.

The three-day MSc was opened on Friday with a theme focused on “Unknown Helplessness”. A growing number of crises and conflicts have led to a growing sense of “helplessness” in many societies around the world, according to a security report published ahead of the conference.

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