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Ongoing discussions on a global treaty to deal with future pandemics: WHO chief scientist

 


In the midst of uninterrupted proliferation of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus, the Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Soumya Swaminathan on Monday said discussions are taking place globally whether there is a need for an international treaty to effectively combat future pandemics.

A few weeks ago the World Health Assembly (WHA) in a special session met to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or international instrument for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Panex-21 seminar, the WHO chief scientist said: “Some of the discussions that are taking place now globally are about whether we should have a global pandemic treaty linking all countries in certain types of behavior just as if we have rules about the atomic use of nuclear energy. “

“The use of biological weapons is not allowed and there are global conventions and agreements in the field of health,” she added.

Citing the example of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Dr. Swaminathan said the convention took many years to negotiate, but in the end it set rules about tobacco control, which has resulted in a significant reduction in tobacco consumption.

“This is a good example of an international treaty that will be able to deal with the next pandemic,” the WHO science chief added.

Earlier this month, the WHA had agreed to launch a global process to draft and negotiate a convention, an agreement under the WHO Constitution to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

This decision aims to protect the world from future infectious disease crises.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, The Director-General of the WHO had said that the decision of the World Health Assembly was historic in nature, vital in its mission and represented an opportunity once in a generation to strengthen the global health architecture to protect and promote the well-being of all people.

Panex-21 is a multinational disaster management drill organized by the Indian Army with a particular focus on relief against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and India – BIMSTEC countries are among those taking part in the event.

Source: ANI

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