Tedros hails WHO ‘landmark resolution’ to accelerate COVID-19 response

With “unprecedented solidarity”, the World Health Assembly adopted a “landmark resolution” on Tuesday, which sets out a “clear roadmap” of the actions needed to sustain and accelerate the COVID-19 response at both national and international levels, the UN health agency chief told a press briefing on Wednesday, the day after the meeting concluded.

“It assigns responsibilities for both the WHO [World Health Organization] and its member States, and captures the comprehensive whole of government and whole of society approach we have been calling for since the beginning of the outbreak”, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.  “If implemented, this would ensure a more coherent, coordinated and fairer response that saves both lives and livelihoods”.

Among other things, the resolution underlines WHO’s key role in promoting access to safe, effective health technologies to fight the pandemic.  It also lifts barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health products. “We call on all countries to join this initiative”, he asserted.

There is still a long way to go in battling the pandemic, according to Tedros. He pointed out that in the last 24 hours, WHO had received reports of 106,000 cases, “the most in a single day since the outbreak began”, with nearly two-thirds in just four countries.  “We’re very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low and middle-income countries”, flagged the WHO chief. He relayed that in the World Health Assembly, Governments outlined that their primary goal was to suppress coronavirus transmission, save lives and restore livelihoods.

In battling COVID-19, WHO underscores the importance of ensuring that health systems continue to function with all essential services, including child immunization. According to the Director-General, the pandemic has taught and informed many lessons, including that “health is not a cost; it’s an investment”. “To live in a secure world, guaranteeing quality health for all is not just the right choice; it’s the smart choice”, concluded the WHO chief.

Source: The UN

Author: Tuula Pohjola