WHO review panel highlights effective multilateralism in COVID-19 response
Publish- January 19, 2021, 11:43 AM
Xinhua/UNB - Xinhua/UNB
A latest interim report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response highlighted effective multilateralism in the preparation and response to the COVID-19 crisis, saying that the consequences of this pandemic remind the world of how important effective multilateralism is.
"Geopolitical tensions have impacted on the response, and the resulting pandemic has given us many interlinked reasons to rethink and reset the way in which the international system and countries prepare and respond to global health threats," said the Panel's co-chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
"The WHO is expected to validate reports of disease outbreaks for their pandemic potential and, deploy support and containment resources, but its powers and funding to carry out its functions are limited," said Sirleaf.
The Panel said even when WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January of 2020, the loudest alarm possible under the International Health Regulations, many countries took minimal action internally and internationally to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Panel also found that the international system for alert and response is not fit for purpose -- it seems to come from an earlier analogue era and needs to be brought into the digital age.
The Panel also expressed deep concern over the continued significant rises in the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, saying that since Jan. 1 of 2021, the world is recording an average of almost 12,500 daily deaths.
The Independent Panel comprises 13 members, including co-chairs Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Sirleaf, former President of Liberia.