The planet should be ready for a disease even deadlier than Covid, the head of the World Health Organisation has warned.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the World Health Assembly forum on Monday, May 22, that the threat of another public health crisis could not be kicked ‘down the road’.
He also claimed that, despite the darkest days of the pandemic being consigned to history, a doomsday Covid variant with the power to send the world back to square one could still spawn.
In Geneva, Switzerland, Dr Tedros said : ‘The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains. And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.’
He was speaking as the WHO unveiled a new global scheme to spot and track the most dangerous pathogens at an annual meeting of its 194 member states.
No specific diseases were named. But ‘Disease X’ — a place-holder given to a devastating pathogen not yet discovered — is on the UN agency’s list of pressing threats.
Dr Tedros’ comments come after the WHO earlier this month declared that Covid was no longer a public health emergency of international concern. Instead, the virus is now considered an ‘established and ongoing health issue’.