The 74th World Health Assembly (DSA), the top decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), started with video conferencing in Geneva, Switzerland.
Addressing the representatives of WHO’s 194 member countries, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres emphasized that the epidemic had a “tsunami” effect, 3.4 million people lost their lives, 500 million people lost their jobs, and trillions of dollars were lost in the global balance sheet. those in the situation suffer the most. I’m afraid this (epidemic) is far from over, “he said.
It causes deeper pain in poor countries
Noting the unfair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, Guterres underlined that rich countries are faced with a situation where they vaccinate most of their populations and open their economies, while in poor countries the virus continues to mutate and cause deeper pain.
Guterres warned that the new waves in the epidemic could cost hundreds of thousands of deaths, and stated that this situation could slow the global economic recovery.
Pointing out that countries cannot defeat the virus alone, Guterres stated that “the world must fight in decisive and solidarity to stop the virus”.
“WE ARE IN WAR WITH A VIRUS”
Guterres invited world leaders to urgently implement a plan for equal access to covid-19 vaccines, test kits and treatments, and the leaders’ global vaccine and treatment program (ACT Accelerator) and Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Program. Na (COVAX) called for financial support.
“We are at war with a virus. We need the logic and urgency of the war economy to increase the capacity of our weapons,” Guterres said.
VACCINE PRODUCTION CAPACITY SHOULD DOUBLE
Emphasizing that the production capacity of Covid-19 vaccines should be doubled at least, Guterrres asked for flexibility regarding the intellectual property of the vaccines.
Guterres also emphasized the importance of preparing for the next global pandemic, stating that basic health care systems and universal health insurance should be supported.
CALL FOR “WHO BE EMPOWERED” FROM SWITZERLAND
Making the opening speech of the DSA, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset pointed out that the importance of the international multilateral system in the epidemic was better understood.
Expressing the adoption of a “universal and coordinated” approach to combat the epidemic and to protect public health in general, Berset also noted that WHO’s role in preparing for and combating emergency health situations should be strengthened.
The 74th World Health Assembly will end on 1 June.