The World Health Organization (WHO) has urgently warned against slacking off in the fight against the virus in view of the threat posed by new corona variants. “The perception that the pandemic is over is misplaced,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday at a meeting of G20 health ministers in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.
The number of new infections and deaths has now fallen sharply in most countries, which has led to the lifting of numerous restrictions.
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His authority remains very concerned that “a lack of corona testing and sequencing is blinding us to the development of the virus,” said the Ethiopian. The WHO also fears that lessons from the pandemic will be forgotten and the “cycle of panic and negligence” will repeat itself.
At the two-day meeting, the G20 health ministers want to discuss, among other things, how global health systems can be strengthened. It is also about a possible standardization of international travel documents, including vaccination certificates in particular. G20 Presidency Indonesia is striving for global harmonization of corona health protocols for safe travel as part of the reopening of borders.
“Global cooperation is crucial to get through the pandemic and ensure we are prepared for the next one,” Indonesian Health Ministry spokeswoman Nadia Tarmizi said before talks began. The meeting is an important moment for the G20 to strengthen the capacities of national, regional and global health systems.
Health ministers plan to meet with G20 finance ministers on Tuesday to discuss a proposed Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF). This is intended to help strengthen the global system for preparing for and responding to future pandemics.