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A world at risk of pandemics that could kill millions, panel warns



LONDON: The world is facing a growing threat of a pandemic for diseases that could kill millions and wreak havoc on the global economy, warned an international panel of experts and governments must work to prepare for and mitigate this risk.

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Council (GPMB), jointly convened by the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), warned that epidemic viruses such as Ebola, influenza and SARS are increasingly difficult to manage in the world, dominated by prolonged conflict, fragile states, and forced migration.

"The threat of a worldwide pandemic is real," a report published Wednesday said. "A rapidly evolving pathogen can kill tens of millions of people, disrupt economies and destabilize national security."

While some governments and international agencies strive to be vigilant and prepare for major disease outbreaks after the devastating 2014. 2011 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, these efforts are "extremely insufficient", the report said.

Gro Harlem Brundland, a former WHO leader who co-chairs the board, added that current approaches to emergency diseases and diseases are "characterized" by a cycle of panic and neglect. "

The report cites the Spanish flu flu pandemic of 1918, which left an estimated 50 million people dead. With a huge number of people crossing the world every day by plane, an equivalent air epidemic can now spread worldwide. in less than 36 hours and kill approximately 50 million to 80 million people, erasing nearly 5 percent of the world economy,

In the case of a pandemic, many national health systems – especially in poor countries to break up the pandemics ", ka and Axel van Trotsenburg, acting CEO of the World Bank and member of the group.

Calls on governments to "take into account the lessons that these outbreaks teach us" and "repair the roof before the rain comes", Tedros Ahanom Hebraeus, WHO Director-General, said they should invest in strengthening health systems, to increase research tools in new technologies to improve coordination and rapid communication system s, and keep track of progress.

The WHO also warned earlier this year that another influenza pandemic – caused by viruses in the air – is imminent and said the world must prepare for it.


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