The World Health Organisation's head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has cautioned about the possibility of a more deadly pandemic in the future, even as COVID-19 cases appear to be stabilising around the globe.
"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," Tedros said.
WHO chief made this statement as he presented his report on Monday at World Health Assembly's seventy sixth session.
Amidst multiple crises, the WHO chief emphasised that pandemics are not the sole threat, highlighting the importance of global mechanisms that effectively handle and respond to various emergencies.
Tedros said COVID-19 had significant implications for health-related targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have a deadline of 2030.
"The pandemic has blown us off course, but it has shown us why the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must remain our north star, and why we must pursue them with the same urgency and determination with which we countered the pandemic," Tedros said.
The pandemic had an impact on the progress made towards the Triple Billion targets, which were announced at the 2017 World Health Assembly.
This five-year initiative aims to achieve three main objectives.
To ensure that one billion additional people have access to universal health coverage
To strengthen measures to protect one billion more individuals from health emergencies
Lastly, the initiative seeks to improve the health and well-being of another billion people.
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