The United Nations (UN) commemorated the first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness on Sunday, underscoring the need to learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic.
It urged greater investments in preparedness, to confront future health emergencies.
“This first observance of the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness falls at the end of a year in which a scenario many had feared came tragically true … As we strive to control and recover from the current pandemic, we must think about the next.
“Across this work, science must be our guide. Solidarity and coordination are crucial, within and among countries; no one is safe unless all of us are safe.
“As we recover from the pandemic, let us resolve to build up our prevention capacities so that we are ready when the world faces the next outbreak,” he urged.
“If we ready ourselves, then we can save lives and stop epidemics from developing into pandemics,” he said, adding that COVID-19 “must be our final warning.”
“We cannot afford to be complacent, and we must learn from our mistakes,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a message.
Similarly, Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly, underscored that the “devastating experience” of the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, the benefits of tackling epidemics.
“If we ready ourselves, then we can save lives and stop epidemics from developing into pandemics.
“COVID-19 “must be our final warning,” he said.