World

WHO to begin independent evaluation of global response to Covid-19

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 10, 2020 Published on July 10, 2020

The World Health Organisation, on Thursday, announced that it will begin the evaluation of global response to the Covid-19 pandemic with the initiation of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR).

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing said it was time for the world to reflect on its preparedness for such pandemics.

“For years, many of us warned that a catastrophic respiratory pandemic was inevitable. People from the health sector, even outside the health sector, and our leaders warned about a catastrophic pandemic,” said Ghebreyesus.

“It was not a question of if, but when. But still, despite all the warnings, the world was not ready. Our systems were not ready. Our communities were not ready. Our supply chains collapsed. It is time for a very honest reflection,” he said.

Independent panel

At its 73rd World Assembly in May, WHO had announced that it will form an independent panel under its Executive Board to evaluate the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken the world by a storm.

India’s Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, had assumed his role as the Chair of WHO’s Executive Board in May.

“The panel will be co-chaired by the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, and former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” said WHO.

The Executive Board will hold a special session in September to discuss the panel’s progress.

“I have also consulted with Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Chair of the Executive Board, in the context of the ongoing and unprecedented public health emergency relating to Covid-19. In line with what Dr Vardhan and I agreed, I am proposing to call a Special Session of the Executive Board in September to discuss progress and to give guidance,” said the WHO chief.

The UN health agency will further resume the World Health Assembly in November, where the independent panel will present an interim report.

The Executive Board will hold its regular session in In January. The panel will present a substantive report of its findings at the World Health Assembly in May 2021.

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Published on July 10, 2020
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