The world was not prepared to battle the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an independent World Health Organization (WHO) panel said in an interim report that also says both the WHO and China acted too slowly to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The report published on Monday by The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness & Response found failures at multiple levels of government and health organizations that allowed the death toll and impact of Covid-19 to grow.
“For all that our institutions and systems have sought to respond to the pandemic … the sobering fact is they have been no match for the virus and the speed with which it has spread across the globe,” the panel wrote in the report. “Despite the myriad shining examples on every continent of human ingenuity in response to the virus, we have failed in our collective capacity to come together in solidarity to create a protective web of human security.”
The 13-member panel, created through a WHO resolution passed last spring, said it has already become clear the worst of the pandemic lies ahead, urging for the immediate adoption of decisive and effective action to save lives and reduce overall damage.
The panel said it found that public health measures known to curb the pandemic such as early case detection, contact tracing, physical distancing and mask wearing were not widely enforced in many countries,
“The failure to apply such measures is continuing to result in an unacceptable toll of death, illness and transmission,” the report said.
It also said the current pandemic alert system is “slow, cumbersome and indecisive,” the international response has deepened inequalities within nations and between them, there has been a failure to take the existential risks posed by the threat of pandemics seriously and that the WHO is underpowered to do what it is expected of it.”The panel believes that the Covid-19 pandemic must be a catalyst for fundamental and systemic change in preparedness for future such events, from the local community through through to the highest international levels,” it said. SOVEREIGNPH