Covid-19 will leave permanent scars: WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO), has said Covid-19 will leave permanent scars on many populations across the globe notwithstanding it is still far from being over.

Global coronavirus infections have so far reached over 171 million of which 3.5 million are fatalities. In Zimbabwe, as of May 31, a total of 38,961 cases had been recorded including 1,594 deaths.

In his closing remarks at the World Health Assembly Monday, WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that a lot of work was still required to end the Covid-19 pandemic.

“One day – hopefully soon – the pandemic will be behind us, but the psychological scars will remain for those who have lost loved ones, health workers who have been stretched beyond breaking point, and the millions of people of all ages confronted with months of loneliness and isolation,” said Ghebreyesus.

“The theme of this Assembly is, as you know: “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next one.” The reality is, we still have a lot of work to do to end this pandemic. We’re very encouraged that cases and deaths are continuing to decline globally, but it would be a monumental error for any country to think the danger has passed.”

The WHO chief said the tailored and consistent use of public health measures, in combination with equitable vaccination, remains the way out of the pandemic.

“I urge all Member States to commit to supporting the targets I set out on Monday, to achieve vaccination of at least 10% of the population of all countries by the end of September, and at least 30% by the end of the year,” he said.

Ghebreyesus said the world still faces the same vulnerabilities that allowed a small outbreak to become a global pandemic.

“The questions the pandemic is asking us cannot simply be answered with new institutions, mechanisms, facilities or processes,” he said.

“The challenges we face are profound, and so must be the solutions we design. Strengthening WHO certainly means strengthening the Secretariat, but it also means strengthening the bond between Member States, which is very crucial.”

He added: “That’s why the one recommendation that I believe will do most to strengthen both WHO and global health security is the recommendation for a treaty on pandemic preparedness and response; that could also improve, as I said earlier, the relationship between Member States and foster cooperation.

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