, Covid is a ‘wake-up’ call for the world to improve health resilience, The Nzuchi Times

Covid is a ‘wake-up’ call for the world to improve health resilience

, Covid is a ‘wake-up’ call for the world to improve health resilience, The Nzuchi Times

The world needs to forge a post-pandemic consensus around global health, just as leaders came together after the Second World War to build new international institutions, a new report has urged. 

The Reform for Resilience Policy Commission, made up of leaders from business, science and politics including the past Prime Ministers of Australia, Finland and Portugal, described Covid as a “wake-up call to the world”. 

It urges leaders to use this month’s G7 summit in the UK to establish the first integrated approach to global health, economics and the environment – similar to the Bretton Woods discussions that shaped global financial cooperation at the end of the Second World War. 

It calls for a new global health architecture to support the World Health Organization to enable more timely disease surveillance and data sharing.  And it urges G20 countries to establish an independent Office for Health Resilience, similar to the UK’s Office for Budgetary Responsibility, which would measure and monitor each country’s preparedness. 

Malcolm Turnbull, co-chair of the commission and former Australian prime minister, said Covid had tested every corner of the world.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is a wake-up call to global leaders every bit as significant – and urgent – as the global financial crisis of more than a decade ago, and the worsening climate emergency of today. They are linked. Covid, the financial crisis and the climate emergency are all crises of resilience: our ability to adapt and survive,” he said. 

The report also calls for immediate action to control the “third wave” surge of the Delta – or Indian – variant by ensuring equitable access to vaccines. To do this leaders must ensure the Covax vaccine sharing facility gets the £2billion it needs for next year. 

It also calls for an “ethically sound” approach to incentivising vaccine uptake, including the introduction of vaccine passports and the removal of barriers to vaccine compliance. 

, Covid is a ‘wake-up’ call for the world to improve health resilience, The Nzuchi Times

The report highlights how no country has had a perfect response to the pandemic. The UK, for example, was slow to lock down and struggled with track and trace but has led the world in vaccine development and genome sequencing.

Australia, which was widely recognised as having delivered the most effective lockdown last year, is now struggling with effective quarantining and vaccine compliance. 

And Taiwan, well prepared for the pandemic after its experience of the Sars virus, initially kept infections and deaths at extremely low levels, but is now suffering from a surge in infections and a lack of vaccines, the report said.

José Manuel Barroso, co-chair of the and former President of the European Commission, said the world had to learn the lessons of the pandemic. 

“Global leaders of the richest nations at the G7 and G20 need to act with urgency to deliver global, equitable and affordable vaccination. At the same time we should invest in health resilience and consider public health a global public good that requires truly global cooperation through new global partnerships.”

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