Covid pandemic 'far from over': Tedros WHO

GENEVA: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), underlined in Geneva that the Covid-19 pandemic "is far from over." 

"The pandemic, however, is far from over. Even as we combat it, we must restore key health services, with 90% of member states reporting disruptions in one or more of these services "On Monday, the WHO Director-General stated.

Ghebreyesus, speaking at the 75th World Health Assembly, said the Covid-19 pandemic had proved why the world needed the WHO.  "A stronger and more sustainably funded WHO must be at the heart of the global health security architecture," he said at the annual meeting. "I am proud to state that this group is making a difference in small and huge ways, seen and unseen," he said.

By next year, the WHO estimates that 1 billion additional people will benefit from universal health care. Prior to the pandemic, the WHO anticipated that just 270 million more people will be covered by 2023, falling short of the target of 1 billion people by 730 million. "Health-care disruptions during the pandemic have set us back, and we anticipate the shortfall might approach 840 million," he said.

Ghebreyesus also stated that governments should prioritise people's health in their programmes.  "We are urging every government to prioritise the health of its citizens in its development and growth objectives," he stated.

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