The head of the World Health Organization warned that the world must prepare for the next pandemic, which could be “even deadlier” than the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a meeting of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sounded an alarm that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.
“The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains,” Tedros said. “And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.”
However, the WHO recently declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a health emergency.
“When the next pandemic comes knocking — and it will — we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably,” he added.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that there is potential of a Disease X event just around the corner,” Pranab Chatterjee, a researcher at the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told the National Post.
Public health experts agree that the next pandemic is likely to be zoonotic, i.e., a disease that originates in animals before “spilling over” to infect humans.
Pandemic ‘even deadlier’ than COVID is coming, warns WHOPandemic ‘even deadlier’ than COVID is coming, warns WHO