Former WHO Chief Calls On Countries to Cooperate In Face Of Pandemic

Former WHO Chief Calls On Countries to Cooperate In Face Of Pandemic

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China: (World View Media, CCTV Reuters)

The experience of fighting SARS helped Asian countries do better in the battle against COVID-19, and international cooperation is the only way to fight future pandemics, said Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, a member of the 13th National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and former director-general of the World Health Organization.

Chan said in an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Thursday that from her observations, experience matters in the fight against pandemics.

“Now, in countries in the Asia region, we are doing better. This is because we have experienced SARS in 2003. That was a painful lesson, and we have learned from that lesson and take action. So the people in Asian countries are more receptive to public health measures, including wearing masks, social distancing, as well as not to congregate in big crowds. So I mean, experience matters,” she said.

Chan called on political leaders around the world to work together in the face of the pandemic, and support the work of the WHO.

“For those of us in public health, we say that no one is safe until everyone is safe. So I would appeal to political leaders of countries that on this occasion they must cooperate and support the World Health Organization and Gavi. I mean, you know, the mechanism called COVAX, and make sure that there is equitable and ethical distribution of limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Chan.

Chan also said that the world’s top priority now is to work together to contain the pandemic with vaccines, the most hopeful and useful tool.

“Once the pandemic is under control, we need to look at two issues. How do we take lessons from this pandemic and strengthen our national, what I call health security, and as well as global health security. This is urgent. The last one that I would hope to see changes would be some changes, positive changes, in global governance with the United Nations at its core. From experience, I can tell you we will certainly have another pandemic, but we don’t know when. It is better to prepare now,” she said.

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