The World Health Organization warned today, Monday (28 December 2020) that despite the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused more than 1.7 million deaths and tens of millions of injuries within a year, it is urgent to prepare for the “worst”. “It is a wake-up call,” said the director of the World Health Organization’s emergency program, Michael Ryan, at the last press conference this year for the organization that stands in the front line in fighting the worst pandemic the world has seen in a hundred years.
Ryan, who has encountered the most dangerous diseases in the field in his professional life, warned, “This pandemic is very acute. It has spread rapidly around the world and has reached all corners of the planet, but it is not necessarily the worst.”
He acknowledged that the virus “spreads very easily and kills humans,” but stressed that “the death rate is relatively low compared to other new diseases.” He stressed the need to “prepare in the future for what might be worse.”
His colleague Bruce Aylward, a WHO advisor, agreed with this opinion, who considered that despite the achievements made in combating Covid-19, including the production of effective vaccines in record time, the world is still far from prepared to combat future pandemics.
“We are in the second and third wave of this virus and we are still not ready and unable to manage it,” Aylward said at the press conference. He stressed that “although we are more prepared, we are not fully prepared (for the current pandemic), and we are less prepared for the coming one.”
For his part, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus preferred to see the positive side.
Tedros said, “On the level of perception, I think we are ready,” stressing that the time has come “to take things very seriously,” adding that things require “greater ambition.”