: COVID-19 pandemic was a ‘preventable disaster,’ made worse by a lack of global coordination and dithering, independent panel finds


The COVID-19 pandemic that has cost the lives of 3.3 million people around the world was a “preventable disaster” exacerbated by a lack of global coordination and dithering at every point of the outbreak, an independent panel said Wednesday.

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR), a team of experts convened by the World Health Organization’s member states last May to review the world’s handling of the crisis, found weak links at every point in the chain of preparedness and response.

“Preparation was inconsistent and underfunded,” the panel said in a report. “The alert system was too slow—and too meek. The World Health Organization was under-powered. The response has exacerbated inequalities. Global political leadership was absent.”

The panel called on world leaders to move fast to end the crisis and said wealthier countries should donate at least 1 billion vaccine doses to the 92 low- and middle-income countries of the Covax Gavi Advance Market Commitment, the WHO program set up to ensure vaccine equity, by Sept. 1, and commit to provide more than 2 billion doses by mid-2022.

See also: Global cases and deaths from COVID-19 are plateauing but India’s crisis continues to deepen

For daily coverage of COVID-19: Coronavirus Update

The World Trade Organization and WHO should convene the major vaccine-producing countries and manufacturers to agree to voluntary licensing and technology transfer to get vaccine production moving.

“COVID-19 has been a terrible wake-up call. So now the worldneeds to wake up, and commit to clear targets, additional resources,new measures and strong leadership to prepare for the future.We have been warned.”

“G-7 countries should immediately commit to provide 60% of the US$19 billion required for ACT-A in 2021 for vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and strengthening of health systems, with the remainder being mobilized by others in the G-20 and other high-income countries, and a formula based on ability to pay should be adopted to fund such global public goods on an ongoing basis,” said the report.

Every country should enact public health measures at the scale required to contain the spread of he virus and the WHO should develop a road map with clear goals and targets to guide and monitor individual country efforts.

From the moment the WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern Jan. 30, 2020, “too many countries took a ‘wait and see’ approach rather than enacting an aggressive containment strategy that could have forestalled the global pandemic,” said the panel.

Don’t miss: Is herd immunity a realistic concept? Fauci calls it ‘elusive’ and ‘mystical’

As COVID-19 spread into more countries, there was no national or international system set up to manage the distribution of essential supplies.

“Countries with delayed responses were also characterized by a lack of coordination, inconsistent or non-existent strategies, and the devaluing of science in guiding decision-making,” said the report.

Country wealth was not a predictor of success, the panel found. Many low- and middle-income countries succeeded in implementing public health measures that kept illness and death to a minimum, while high-income countries did not.

“For many countries, it was not until they had already seen widespread local transmission and their hospitals were starting to fill with desperately ill patients that they finally took action,” said the report.

The world cannot afford to focus only on COVID-19, said the panel. It must also learn from this crisis and prepare for the next one.

“COVID-19 has been a terrible wake-up call,” it concluded. “So now the world
needs to wake up, and commit to clear targets, additional resources, new measures and strong leadership to prepare for the future.

“We have been warned.”

The Margin: Meet Elise Stefanik, favored to replace Liz Cheney as the No. 3 Republican in the House

Previous article

Cryptos: Ackman says ‘he kicks himself for not understanding’ crypto like bitcoin, but says it has ‘no intrinsic value’

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News