WHO head: Omicron shows the need to reach a global agreement on the epidemic

In the wake of the worrisome new variant of omicron COVID-19, the World Health Organization is pushing for an international agreement on Monday to help prevent and combat future epidemics.

WHO Director-General Tan Desai also said that there are still many uncertainties regarding the infectiousness and severity of the highly mutated omicron.

Tedros joined the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chilean President Sebastian Pinella and other leaders to participate in the United Nations health agency member states at the World Health Assembly for a long time and basically virtual Special meeting.

The purpose of this gathering is to develop a global action plan to prevent, prepare for and respond to future epidemics.

“The emergence of highly mutant omicron variants highlights how dangerous and unstable our situation is,” Tedros said, calling for a “legally binding” agreement, but seeking to reach a consensus on the way forward The draft text did not mention the agreement. “Indeed, Europe and the United States have proved why the world needs to reach a new agreement on epidemics.”

He said: “Our current system discourages countries from alerting other countries to the threat of inevitably landing on their shores,” he said. South Africa and Botswana — new variants discovered in Southern Africa — should be praised, not “punished” “They work. This implies the air travel restrictions to and from the region announced by many countries.

Tan Desai said that WHO scientists and others around the world are working urgently to decipher the threatening posts of the new variants, and said: “We don’t yet know whether omicron is related to more transmission, more serious diseases, and higher The risk of infection or more the risk of evading the vaccine.”

The world should now be “fully awake” to the threat of coronavirus, “but the emergence of omicron reminds people once again, although many of us may think we have gotten rid of COVID-19. We are not done yet,” he added.

A draft resolution to be adopted by the World Health Assembly does not call for an effort to specifically formulate the “pandemic treaty” or “legally binding instrument” that some people seek, which may strengthen international response when – instead of – —If—A new epidemic breaks out.

EU member states and other countries have sought language and called for efforts to reach a treaty, but the United States and some other countries countered that any such document should first formulate the substance of any agreement before naming it. The “treaty” will imply a legally binding agreement that may need to be ratified-and may trigger domestic political bargaining in some countries.

The outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel)’s 16-year term may end next week. She called for “reliable funding” for the WHO and an increase in its member states’ contributions to the United Nations agencies—at the same time Implying the position of the EU to support a binding agreement.

She said through a video message: “The catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and the economy should teach us a lesson. Viruses know no borders.” This is why we should develop measures to improve in an internationally binding manner. Prevention, early detection and response. “

The British ambassador to Geneva, Simon Manley, tweeted a copy of the agreed draft text-in accordance with WHO’s rules on such issues-and praised Chile and Australia as co-chairs The work done.

He wrote: “The #Omicron variant shows once again why we need to agree on how to prepare for and respond to a pandemic, so we all follow the same rules.”

The draft does not mention the term “treaty”, but among other things, it calls for the establishment of an “intergovernmental negotiating body” between WHO member states to formulate a possible agreement to improve pandemic prevention and preparedness And respond.

The three-day meeting that opened on Monday is equivalent to a long-term approach: Any UN-backed agreement may take months or even years to reach and take effect.

But at the same time, many countries have been scrambling to resolve the problem of omicron, which caused the global travel ban to trigger stock market volatility on Friday.

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