A virtual health forum organized by the World Government Summit convened on Monday, discussing the world’s response to COVID-19 and how countries around the world can move forward.
The event, organized by Dubai, included a word by the WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and a discussion between the health ministers of the UAE, Sweden, and Norway, in addition to a Q&A session with the WHO special COVID-19 envoy David Nabarro.
More than 8.99 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 468,080 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
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The global coronavirus pandemic has been exacerbated by politicization, the World Health Organization’s director general said.
“We know that the pandemic is much more than a health crisis, it is an economic crisis, a social crisis and in many countries a political crisis. Its effects will be felt for decades to come,” Ghebreyesus said.
Norway’s Health Minister Bent Hoie said that the global coronavirus outbreak is far from over, and that a return to normality is only possible in the presence of a vaccine.
“This outbreak is far from over. Norway will continue to work with others to come out of this crisis as a stronger global community,” Hoeie said.
However, the WHO special COVID-19 envoy, David Nabarro, said that the world cannot assume that a coronavirus vaccine will be developed quickly, adding that Malaria and HIV still do not have a reliable vaccine despite efforts.
Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren said the world has to be prepared for a second wave of the virus and long-term, less-restrictive measures are the way.
Dealing with the coronavirus is “not a competition between countries,” Hallengren said.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.