COVID-19 is not the last pandemic, be better prepared for the next: WHO Head

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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WHO Director General
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a recent media briefing

World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged countries across the globe to spend on their public health systems, as he accentuated that the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic.

The WHO head said “This will not be the last pandemic. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready, more ready than it was this time.”


Dr. Ghebreyesus added that too many countries had neglected their basic public health systems in recent years and called on governments to “invest in public health as an investment in a healthier and safer future.”

“Public health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability. That means investing in population-based services for preventing, detecting and responding to diseases,” said Dr. Ghebreyesus adding “I call on all countries to invest in public health, and especially primary health care.”

Weekly statistics 

While publishing its latest weekly statistics yesterday, the WHO said that, cumulatively, nearly 27 million COVID-19 cases and 900,000 deaths had been reported to the organization to date.

The organization stated that over 1.8 million new cases and 37,000 new deaths were reported during the week ending Sept. 6, marking a 5 percent increase in the number of cases and a 2 percent decrease in the number of deaths compared to the week before.

The WHO said the Southeast Asia region continued to show the highest increase in new coronavirus cases in the past week, compared to the previous week, with over 600,000 new cases reported.

An increase in the number of newly reported cases was also seen in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, but both new cases and deaths declined in the African and Western Pacific regions compared with the previous week.

The WHO said that reported cases in the Americas rose 1 percent, and deaths fell 4 percent, but it added that the region “continues to carry the highest burden of the disease globally, accounting for nearly half of all new cases reported in the past seven days.”

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