New Delhi: The world had ignored cautions which resulted in the pandemic of COVID-19 and the international system could have stopped it from rising into the distressing pandemic, an independent global panel stated on Wednesday. “The catastrophic scale of the COVID-19 pandemic could have been prevented had the warning signs been heeded," the panel was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) in its report stated, "It is clear to the Panel that the world was not prepared and had ignored warnings which resulted in a massive failure: an outbreak of SARS-COV-2 became a devastating pandemic." The panel also concluded that the announcement of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) did not lead to an urgent, coordinated, worldwide answer.
It further stated that nations that revalued science, failed to create trust in their response and pursued random plans that left them lagging behind the widespread and with high infection and fatality rates. In an aim to avert future pandemics, the panel also called for the forming a high-level Global Health Threats Council led by Heads of State and Government.
Former US President Donald Trump had recently blamed the WHO (World Health Organisation) and alleged that its response to the COVID-19 outbreak was 'delayed'. While halting US' funding to WHO, Trump had, also alleged that the world health body had 'colluded' with China. "(The WHO) consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier," Trump had said in a letter to WHO Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 18 last year.
The probe of the panel revealed at a time when India has been witnessing a deadly wave of the infection. On Tuesday, WHO stated that it does not refer to COVID-19 variants by the names of the nations they first originated in. In response to media reports which cited B.1.617 variant as 'Indian Variant', WHO clarified that the UN body refers to viruses only by their scientific names.
Meanwhile, according to Johns Hopkins University, 160,058,714 cases and 3,326,305 deaths have been reported worldwide.
INDIA OPENED UP PREMATURELY?
USA’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci told senators that India made the ‘incorrect assumption’ that it was finished with the COVID-19 outbreak and opened up prematurely that has left the nation in such ‘dire straits’.
India has been badly affected by the crisis with second wave of the novel virus has led to acute shortage of, vaccines, oxygen, drugs and beds in number of hospitals in the country.
During the hearing on Tuesday on the COVID-19 response, Fauci told the senators, “The reason that India is in such dire straits now is that they had an original surge and made the incorrect assumption that they were finished with it, and what happened, they opened up prematurely and wind up having a surge right now that we’re all very well aware of is extremely devastating.”
Meanwhile, India on Wednesday registered a record rise in COVID-19 fatalities with 4,120 new deaths taking the country’s death tally to 2,58,317, while 3,62,727 new COVID-19 cases were reported, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
(With agency inputs)