What is the 'next pandemic' WHO Director-general is worried about?
Recently, World Health announced a piece of good news sharing that COVID-19 is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern anymore.
However, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-general stated at the 76th world health Assembly that we need to still worry as the threat from coronavirus and other pandemics is still lingering.
the Director-general stated, "The end of Covid-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of Covid-19 as a global health threat. The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains. And, the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the meeting targeting the concept of pandemic preparedness in the assembly must be used to lay down the possible path further. The man said, “We cannot kick this can down the road. If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when? When the next pandemic comes knocking – and it will – we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively, and equitably.”
Is a new Covid-19 variant expected due to mutation?
The novel coronavirus disease was a challenging battle to tackle for the whole world, and after three years of its highest degree of alarm, the World Health Organization stated in the first week of May the virus is not a public health emergency of international concern any longer.
The deadly virus gave rise to infections and deaths in all parts of the world, but the number of infected ones has thankfully, significantly declined. People all around the globe have strengthened their immunities against the virus either naturally or through vaccinations. Thus, there have been not many cases of extreme disease and deaths by the virus. However, it is to be noted that it is still in circulation.
While the numbers have significantly declined, one cannot miss the fact that there are still many people across the globe that have caught the infection. For instance, in April, India saw an increase in the number of infections. These infections were sometimes present even without manifesting any symptoms.
Reasons behind pandemics in the world
In ancient times, pandemics were not a commonly heard term. However, the present situation has made this term exceptionally common. Infections from animals have reached mankind. Moreover, the globalized world that we live in has made traveling these infections from animals to mankind easier than ever. With such ease for viruses to travel, it is not a piece of surprising news if any deadly virus spreads across parts of the world in just a few days. Additionally, the extra-large population of countries is also one of the factors that make the spread of infections faster than ever. Not to miss, billions of travelers make use of air travel every year, and while this ensures ease of travel, this also makes the spread of infections easier than ever.
Urbanization is also to be blamed here. Urbanization makes a large population of people reside in close proximity. Additionally, a few of the downsides of excessive urbanization may also be the lack of adequate sanitization, healthcare, and housing facilities for many. This lack of the basics of sound healthcare also contributes to giving rise to large-scale pandemics.
The most severe pandemic ever in the history of mankind is the Black Death. The reason behind this pandemic was travel and the density of the population.
All these factors combined are enough to give rise to large-scale pandemics.