The catastrophic scale of the COVID-19 pandemic may have been averted — however a “toxic cocktail” of “delay, hesitation, and denial” aided its rampant global unfold, an impartial panel concluded Wednesday.
“The situation we find ourselves in today could have been prevented,” insisted former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, one of the co-chairs of the investigation for the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR).
“It is due to a myriad of failures, gaps and delays in preparedness and response,” the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate advised reporters, in accordance with Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“Our message is simple and clear: the current system failed to protect us from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sirleaf mentioned, because the global death toll stands at greater than 3.3 million, with almost 160 million confirmed instances.
The report, launched Wednesday, mentioned that the pandemic was met with “some early and rapid action” but additionally by “delay, hesitation, and denial.”
“Poor strategic choices, unwillingness to tackle inequalities and an uncoordinated system created a toxic cocktail which allowed the pandemic to turn into a catastrophic human crisis,” it concluded.
The report was ordered by World Health Organization (WHO) member states final May because the pandemic first unfold quickly throughout the globe.
The panel didn’t spare the WHO, saying it may have declared the scenario a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) — its highest degree of alarm — on January 22, 2020.
While it did that eight days later, February was edeemed a “lost month” with comparatively little motion — with the world seemingly solely waking to the actual menace in March when it was officially declared a global pandemic, a time period that’s not half of the WHO’s official alert system.
Without all of the delays, “we believe we wouldn’t be looking at an accelerating pandemic, as we have for the last 15 or 16 months or so. As simple as that”, mentioned the panel’s different co-chair, former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark.
“There were clearly delays in China — but there were delays everywhere,” Clark insisted.
Despite its criticism, the WHO ought to get extra energy in addition to higher management over its funding and extra authority for its management, the panel urged.
The U.N. well being company additionally must be granted “guaranteed rights of access” in nations to research rising outbreaks to keep away from the delay of more than a year to ship a group of scientists to China this 12 months.
The panel made an array of different suggestions, together with making a Global Health Threats Council made up of world leaders, plus a pandemic conference.
“If we do not act to change it now, it will not protect us from the next pandemic threat, which could happen at any time,” Sirleaf mentioned.
“The cabinets of storage rooms within the UN and nationwide capitals are full of experiences and evaluations of earlier well being crises.
“Had their warnings been heeded, we would have avoided the catastrophe we are in today. This time must be different.”
With Post wires