Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused severe losses globally, the World Health Organization warned that the epidemic “is not necessarily a serious illness” and urged the world to “seriously” prepare.
“This is a wake-up call,” said Michael Ryan, WHO’s head of emergency, at a press conference on Monday. It has been a year since the United Nations agency first learned of the spread of this new bug in China.
Since its emergence in Wuhan, COVID-19 has killed nearly 1.8 million of the more than 81 million infected people worldwide. In the United States, about 335,000 people died and more than 19 million people were infected.
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According to Agence France-Presse, Ryan said: “This epidemic is very serious.”
He emphasized that although this virus “is very easy to spread and kills people… but compared with other emerging diseases, its current fatality rate (rate) is quite low.”
Ryan added: “We need to prepare for things that may be more severe in the future.”
Bruce Aylward, a senior WHO consultant, also warned that although the world has made tremendous scientific advances, including the development of vaccines at a record rate, it is not yet ready to prevent future pandemics. .
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He said: “We have entered the second and third waves of this virus, and we are still not prepared to deal with and manage those viruses.” “So, although we are better prepared…we are not yet fully prepared for this. , Let alone the next one.”
At the same time, the head of WHO, Tedros Adanon Gibriasos, expressed the hope that this epidemic has helped the world better prepare for future threats.
The Director-General said: “As far as consciousness is concerned, we already know it now.” He added, “Now is the time to be serious.”
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He also cited two new strains of the virus that have emerged in the UK and South Africa, which appear to be more infectious than other viruses.
He said: “We are collaborating with scientists in the United Kingdom and South Africa. They are conducting epidemiological and laboratory research, which will guide the next step.”
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