The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the global community to be ready for the emergence of a pathogen deadlier than the novel COVID-19.
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, issued the alert on Monday during the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
“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,” he said.
“And pandemics are far from the only threat we face. In a world of overlapping and converging crises, an effective architecture for health emergency preparedness and response must address emergencies of all kinds.”
The warning is coming weeks after the WHO boss declared an end to COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern.
Ghebreyesus added that “this year’s High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Preparedness and Response is a valuable opportunity for leaders to chart a clear path forward towards that future”.
He did not mention the name of the ‘expected’ disease but urged all and sundry to be “ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably when the pandemic comes knocking”.