The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response established by WHO in May 2020 has slammed the World Health Organisation (WHO) and China for their early shortcomings during the initial response to the pandemic. The panel also slammed the governments worldwide for ineffective handling, citing lack of adequate response and planning to deal with the situation.
Here are few key points discussed by the panel co-chaired by the former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and the former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
- What is clear to the Panel is that public health measures could have been applied more forcefully by local and national health authorities in China in January.
- We have failed in our collective capacity to come together in solidarity to create a protective web of human security. The worst of the pandemic and its impact are yet to come as we write at the beginning of January 2021.
- The Panel also describes additional early shortcomings at each step of the global and national response to Covid-19, which have contributed to the pandemic. These include a failure to measure preparedness in a way that predicted actual performance, and a failure of countries to prepare, despite years of warnings of the inevitability of a health threat with pandemic potential.
- The report stated that there has been a wholesale failure to take seriously the existential risk posed by pandemic threat.
- Terming the system “not fit for purpose”, the panel urged an overhaul of global health alert and response system.
- Slamming the Chinese authority the panel stated that local and national health authorities in China could have applied public health measures more forcefully in January.
- While discussing the immunization of the population around the world the panel quoted, the full potential of vaccines cannot be realized if narrow national interests and economic power determine who gets access.
- The panel also warned, as the respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is continuing to evolve many countries are yet to face their most challenging period in their response to the Covid-19.