Mumbai: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday said that positive results from COVID-19 vaccine trials mean the world “can begin to dream about the end of the pandemic. He added saying rich and powerful nations must not trample the poor and marginalized “in the stampede for vaccines.”
In an address to the U.N. first high-level session of the General Assembly, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Edholm Ghebreyes warned that when the virus can be stopped, “the path remains dangerous.”
The pandemic has shown humanity “the best and the worst”, he said, “inspiring acts of compassion and self-sacrifice, breathtaking feats of science and innovation, and heartfelt displays of solidarity, but also selfishness.” Disturb the signal, “fault-shifting and segmentation.”
On vaccines, Tedros said, “the light at the end of the tunnel is steadily intensifying,” but vaccines “should be shared equally as global public goods, not as private objects that widen inequalities.” And become, while some people are left behind.”
He said the WHO’s act-accelerator program is in danger of becoming no more than a good gesture “without major new funding” to quickly develop and deliver vaccination.
Tedros cited the current ups and downs in infections and deaths, without naming any country, stating that “where science is drowned out by conspiracy theories, where divisions reduce solidarity, where sacrifice is substituted with self-interest, the virus thrives, the virus spreads.”
He warned at a virtual address at the high-level meeting that a vaccine would “not address the weaknesses inherent in its roots” – poverty, hunger, inequality, and climate change, which he said would have to be dealt with once the pandemic ended.
“We cannot and we should not go back to the same exploitative patterns of production and consumption, the same disregard for the planet as the same cycle of life, nervousness and attention and the same divisive politics that winds up this pandemic,” he said.
He said that $ 4.3 billion is needed immediately to lay the groundwork for the purchase and distribution of the vaccine, and another $ 23.9 billion is needed for 2021. Overall, Tedros said that is less than half of 1 percent of the $ 11 trillion. In the stimulus packages announced so far by the group of the world’s richest countries.
The WHO has been severely criticized for not taking a stronger and more articulate role in dealing with the pandemic.
Tedros said at the meeting that “clearly, preparations need to focus on the global system.”
He said a WHO commission established in September is reviewing international health regulations. WHO is also working with several countries on developing a pilot program in which countries agree to regular and transparent reviews of their health preparedness, he said.