WHO chief warns at G20: ‘Blind in virus development’

Updated 20.06.2022 at 09:36

  • In Indonesia, G20 health ministers are discussing lessons learned from the pandemic and approaches to safe travel.
  • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns at the outset against negligence given the declining number of people infected – and against repeating history.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged a slowdown in the fight against the virus, given the threat posed by the new crown variants. “The idea that the pandemic is over is incorrect,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a meeting of G20 health ministers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Monday. The number of new infections and deaths has now fallen sharply in most countries, leading to the lifting of a number of restrictions.

His authority remains very concerned that “the lack of corona testing and sequencing blinds us before the virus develops,” Ethiopian said. The WHO also fears that the lessons of the pandemic will be forgotten and the “cycle of panic and negligence” will be repeated.

G20 health ministers are discussing standardization of vaccination cards

At the two-day meeting, G20 health ministers want to discuss, among other things, how global health systems can be strengthened. It is also a possible standardization of international travel documents, especially vaccination cards. The G20 Presidency of Indonesia is working to harmonize coronavirus protocols for safe travel as part of the reopening of borders.

“Global cooperation is essential to overcome the pandemic and ensure that we are ready for the next,” Indonesian Ministry of Health spokeswoman Nadia Tarmizi said before the talks began. The meeting is an important moment for the G20 to strengthen the capacity of national, regional and global health systems.

Health ministers plan to meet with G20 finance ministers on Tuesday to discuss the proposed fund for financial intermediaries (FIF). This is to help strengthen the global system for preparing for and responding to future pandemics. At the end of October, G20 health ministers will meet for further talks in Bali – shortly before the G20 summit of heads of state and government, which will take place on the popular holiday island on 15 and 16 November. (dpa / ank)
© dpa

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