The World Health Organization (WHO) chief has again requested the countries to unite and fight against Covid-19 as the pandemic has claimed over 700,000 lives globally while the number of confirmed cases has gone up to 18.5 million as of Thursday.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus came up with the appeal while addressing the Aspen Security Forum, which brings together top-level present and former government officials from the United States, reports UN news.
“No country will be safe, until we’re all safe,” he told the virtual meeting.
“I urge all leaders to choose the path of cooperation and act now to end this pandemic! It’s not just the smart choice, it's the right choice and it’s the only choice we have.”
The Americas remain the current epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Invest in preparedness’
Tedros said the pandemic has “stress tested” global political, economic, cultural and social infrastructure, pushing national health systems everywhere to their limits.
“The world spends billions every year preparing for potential terrorist attacks but we've learned lessons the hard way that unless we invest in pandemic preparedness and the climate crisis, we leave ourselves open to enormous harm,” he noted.
As no country can fight the virus alone, Tedros said the best way forward is to stick with science, solutions and solidarity. “Together we can overcome this pandemic.”
Against “vaccine nationalism”
Tedros warned against “vaccine nationalism” in a globalised world during a question-and-answer session when he was asked about ensuring fair distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine when one is developed.
In April, WHO and partners launched the ACT Accelerator to speed up development of vaccines and medicines against the virus, and to ensure that they will be available to people everywhere.
“But to make it happen, especially fair distribution, there should be a global consensus to make a vaccine, any product, a global public product. And this is a political choice, a political commitment, and we want political leaders to decide on this,” the WHO chief said.
“What we’re saying is sharing vaccines, or sharing other tools, actually helps the world to recover together, and economic recovery can be faster and the damage from COVID-19 could be less.”