WHO: Don't Stop Worrying about the COVID-19 Pandemic, there is Risk of New Variants

The Secretary-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned the countries of the world not to be complacent about the COVID-19 pandemic because the risk of dangerous new variants has not disappeared, DPA reported.

"Although the number of coronavirus infections and deaths has dropped by 90 percent, the January highs and restrictions in many countries have been lifted, the notion that the pandemic is over is wrong", Gebreyesus said.

"The WHO remains deeply concerned that the lack of testing and sequencing is preventing us from seeing the virus develop. We are equally concerned that no lessons will be learned from this pandemic and that the cycle of panic and neglect will be repeated," said the head of the organization at a meeting of G20 health ministers in Indonesia. Health ministers from the world's 20 largest economies are expected to discuss ways to strengthen global health systems, harmonize health protocols for COVID-19 and standardize travel documents, Indonesian Health Ministry spokeswoman Nadia Tarmizi said. "Global co-operation is critical to overcoming the pandemic and ensuring that we are prepared for the next one," Tarmizi told a news conference ahead of the ministerial meeting.

Health ministers are scheduled to meet with G20 finance ministers on Tuesday to discuss the creation of a Financial Intermediation Fund, a financial instrument involving public and private resources, to prevent and respond to future pandemics.

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