73rd World Health Assembly acknowledges WHO’s role in coronavirus global response
The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) is taking place online in Geneva at the moment. Earlier, the meeting participants including Kazakhstan have already discussed the European Union’s draft resolution on the beginning of international investigation on the origin of the novel coronavirus and the global response to it. Today the draft resolution will be put to a vote, and more than 120 countries are ready to sign it. The report on 11 pages outlined such moments as the adequacy of the World Health Organization warning system to alert the world about outbreaks. The authors of the document are seriously convinced that countries need to reevaluate the WHO’s role.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the first to urge the WHO to lead the fight against coronavirus. She said that no country can save itself alone.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the WHO should lead the fight against COVID-19, while other states should support the organization both politically and financially. French President Emmanuel Macron had a similar opinion. He emphasized the importance of the WHO’s key role in the fight against the coronavirus and added that France would now allocate much more funds to the organization’s work.
Participants concurred that the strengthening of international cooperation is the key to ensure that the lessons of the past are learned.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confidently stated that the majority of the world's population remains susceptible to the virus. Scientists around the world are actively looking for a vaccine from the dangerous infection. The issue of equal access to the coronavirus vaccine for everyone was also discussed at the WHA. Currently, the development is carried out in the laboratories of a number of states. Xi Jinping pledged that any vaccines developed against the disease by China will be made a public good. He also said that China would donate US$2 billion over two years to help the countries affected by the pandemic.
The world will never be the same again after the pandemic. However, people from different parts of the world as well as the cities and their former rhythm come back to normal life. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented on the easing of the quarantine saying that the organization is eager to have the global recovery as soon as possible, but urged countries to act carefully.
“Leaders of countries who are in a hurry to make decisions before a public health system is established to identify and suppress transmission of the infection risk interfering with its own recovery. Inaction will be the biggest failure if the world does not take anything useful out of the pandemic, from the beginning of which nearly 4.5 million people were infected, more than 305,000 died,” said the WHO Director General.
Making a speech during the WHA, Kazakhstan highlighted a number of important issues, including the primary health care in the fight against coronavirus, timely informing public of new outbreaks and precautions as well as the widespread use of digital technologies.
“The second part of the assembly’s agenda was postponed to a later date in 2020, where the decision on the plan for the implementation of the Astana Declaration on Primary Health Care will be approved at the global level. I recall that at the 72nd session of the WHA last year, a resolution on primary health care, which called on the countries to strengthen primary health care in accordance with the Astana Declaration was unanimously adopted,” wrote Kazakh Health Minister Yelzhan Birtanov on his page on Facebook.
Yelzhan Birtanov reminded once again that Kazakhstan’s population should still observe all preventive measures including social distance and personal hygiene.