In a significant announcement, World Health Organizations (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday (December 26) said that the COVID-19 crisis will not be the last pandemic and all steps taken to improve human health are "doomed" if the global community fails to tackle climate change and animal welfare.
In a video message marking first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness on Sunday, the WHO chief said that people are following "dangerously short-sighted" method of using money to control outbreaks but are not doing anything to prepare for the next one.
WHO chief Tedros said that people must learn the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic. "For too long, the world has operated on a cycle of panic and neglect... We throw money at an outbreak, and when it's over, we forget about it and do nothing to prevent the next one. This is dangerously short-sighted, and frankly difficult to understand," he said.
"History tells us that this will not be the last pandemic, and epidemics are a fact of life... The pandemic has highlighted the intimate links between the health of humans, animals and planet... Any efforts to improve human health are doomed unless they address the critical interface between humans and animals, and the existential threat of climate change that's making our earth less habitable," he added.
It is to be noted that coronavirus has claimed around 1.75 million lives so far and over 80 million cases have been recorded since the outbreak emerged in China last December.
"In the past 12 months, our world has been turned upside-down. The impacts of the pandemic go far beyond the disease itself, with far-reaching consequences for societies and economies," said Tedros.