Independent panel: ‘Serious failures’ led to catastrophic pandemic

Geneva, May 12 (EFE).- The World Health Organization and individual governments made serious errors in their response to the coronavirus pandemic, an Independent WHO Panel reported on Wednesday.

The Covid-19 crisis “is the worst combined health and socioeconomic crisis in living memory,” and the 21st century’s “Chernobyl moment,” the report read.

It added that “the international system requires fundamental transformation to prevent a future pandemic” and called on political leaders to drastically improve their response and effectiveness.

“The ask is large and challenging, but the prize is even larger and more rewarding. With so many lives at stake, now is the time for resolve,” the panel urged.

The report said authorities had failed to properly heed warnings of the potential dangers of Covid-19 and had adopted a “wait and see” approach to handling the outbreak rather than taking decisive action.

“It is clear to the Panel that the world was not prepared and had ignored warnings which resulted in a massive failure,” it read.

“The health risk was widely underestimated, resulting in the world’s capacity to respond woefully insufficient,” it added.

The report also found that the WHO lacked strong leadership in their role as the foremost body in global health.

It failed to secure funding and persuade governments to take immediate action, it said.

The uneven access to vaccines is today’s greatest challenge and must be addressed immediately, according to the report.

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