The science is incredible, but there is no global coordination WHO’s top scientist on the Covid-19 pandemic

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During a panel of WHO discussion as part of Bio Asia 2022, she said that while several high-end countries have completed vaccination to the extent of 90%, some African countries have only completed 10% inoculation, despite global vaccine supply ease. Though the scientific achievement in combating the COVID-19 pandemic is commendable, there was no global coordination on some issues, and several countries did not follow the World Health Organization’s framework. On Thursday, the WHO’s Chief Scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, stated.

During a panel discussion as part of BioAsia 2022, she said that while several high-end countries have completed vaccination to the extent of 90%, some African countries have only completed 10% inoculation, despite global vaccine supply ease. “While the scientific achievements have been outstanding, the fact that we have a vaccine in less than a year; where we fell short was on truly global coordination and harmonized ways of approaching pandemics, whether it is travel rules; That doesn’t help actually in the pandemic,” she said, referring to the reaction to travel restrictions imposed on South Africa after a new variant of COVID-19 was discovered.

WHO

Even though the world has moved on from the acute supply shortage that plagued the world in 2021, the challenge will be massive because many countries are unable to implement large-scale vaccination programs, according to the WHO chief scientist. She also stated that the WHO is working on scenarios in which variant-proof vaccines are developed, as well as the need for a globally distributed manufacturing network.

Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, who also spoke on the panel, believes that the government should heavily incentivize research and development, as well as sectors like Biopharma, to help India transition from a low-value, high-volume player in the global pharma market to a high-value, high-volume player. “We’re looking into ways to improve the system and encourage more industry-academy academic collaborations.” “Our scientific community needs to promote innovation, global partnerships, and knowledge sharing,” he said.

Some regulatory processes should be simplified, according to Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech International Limited, to act quickly on product development.

Despite flattening, don’t lower your guard after WHO. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s covid curve

On Wednesday, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu emphasized the importance of basic amenities like safe drinking water and sanitation in preventing diseases and contributing to people’s overall well-being. He also warned that, despite the flattening of the COVID-19 pandemic curve, people should not relax their guard and should continue to wash their hands frequently.

WHO

The vice president, speaking at the National WASH Conclave-2022 after virtually inaugurating it from Chennai, said that children should grow up in a healthy physical and emotional environment. According to an official statement from the Vice President Secretariat, he wanted preventive healthcare measures such as safe water, sanitation, and hygienic practices to begin in anganwadis and primary schools.

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Hyderabad, is hosting a three-day virtual conclave on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, UNICEF, and other development partners. The theme of the conclave is ‘improving water, sanitation, and hygiene in panchayats.’
Observing that bringing the WASH agenda to gram panchayats is critical because they are at the heart of rural water supply, Naidu emphasized the importance of institutionalizing panchayats to ensure effective service delivery to the last mile.

“Effective last-mile delivery of services in every field — this is a key aspect of governance that I always emphasize — holds the key to fast-tracking all-around development,” he asserted. The vice president stated that as a country, we must ensure that every household has access to all basic services, the most important of which is WASH.
Recognizing that providing safe drinking water and sanitation to every rural household is a monumental task, Naidu stated that it can only be accomplished if a diverse group of players bands together with “singular focus and determination.” There is bound to be a positive spinoff as rural water supply networks are expanded across the country, according to Naidu.

“There will be a huge demand for plumbers, electricians, and people trained in water chlorination,” he predicted, calling for lessons to be learned from Scandinavian countries, where local governments use hub-and-spokes models to meet the demand for skilled manpower to handle any breakdowns or maintenance work.

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