November 29, 2021, 09.15 PM

KOMPAS.com - As concern grows over the omicron variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the panicked reactions by world leaders to the urgent need for a global accord on pandemics.

“The emergence of the highly mutated omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the start of a three-day World Health Assembly meeting on Monday, November 29.

He said scientists around the world are “urgently” working to determine whether the omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, is more infectious or whether vaccines are effective against it.

Also readSaudi Arabia Allows Direct Entry for Indonesian Travelers, No Covid Booster Shot Needed

The UN health agency chief, however, emphasized that the 194-member World Health Assembly needs to ensure that the groundwork is laid for an accord that can prevent future pandemics.

“We shouldn’t need another wake-up call,” Tedros said.

Why did the WHO label omicron as ‘high risk’?

Earlier on Monday, the WHO released a statement with the latest assessment of the omicron variant — designating it as a bringing a “very high” risk of global infection surges.

While it remains to be seen whether the variant increases the risk of severe disease or death — the multiple mutations in the past have led to a higher risk of recurring infections in patients who have already recovered from Covid.

“Depending on these characteristics, there could be future surges of Covid-19, which could have severe consequences, depending on a number of factors including where surges may take place,” the WHO said in a statement.

How much support is there for a pandemic accord?

Leaders from Germany and the European Union threw their support behind a global pandemic pact, calling for more stable financing for the WHO.

Also readPfizer Deal Authorizes Generic Pharmaceuticals to Produce Covid-19 Antiviral Pill

“I would like us member states to increase our contributions significantly — this means up to 50 percent,” said acting Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The outgoing German leader also backed efforts to make a pandemic prevention accord legally binding — which is currently not on the table in the draft agreement.

The United States has been hesitant to agree to sign on to a legally binding treaty, but reached a compromise with other member states to kick start the process for a global “accord.”

What is in the draft?

The draft, which is expected to be adopted by the end of the talks on Wednesday, sets out the long-term steps.

Countries have tentatively agreed to establish an intergovernmental body that will draft and negotiate an accord. The accord itself will focus on three areas: pandemic prevention, preparedness, and pandemic response.

A treaty, accord, or another type of agreement won't likely be ready for years. The deadline is currently set at 2024.

Source: dpa, AFP

Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.



Recommendation
Comment wisely and responsibly. Comments are entirely the responsibility of the commentator as regulated in the ITE Law
Report
Thank You! We have received your report. We will remove comments that conflict with the Community Guidelines and the ITE Law.

More Headlines

News
August 16, 2022, 01.24 PM

UN Envoy Makes First Visit to Myanmar

News
August 15, 2022, 09.06 PM

Myanmar Court Sentences Suu Kyi to 6 Years

News
August 12, 2022, 04.41 PM

Researchers Warn of Melting Antarctic Ice Sheet

News
August 8, 2022, 09.07 AM

ASEAN Wraps Up Foreign Ministers Talks

Business
August 5, 2022, 10.13 PM

China Begins to Ship Bullet Trains to Indonesia

Close Ads