A global summit to end the Covid-19 outbreak and prepare for future health threats will be held on May 12, the White House announced on Monday. This virtual meeting is co-chaired by the United States, Germany, currently leading the G7, Indonesia, leading the G20, Senegal, leading the Union, Africa and Belize, leading Caricom (Caribbean countries) .
“The summit will redouble our joint efforts to end the acute phase of the Covid-19 epidemic and prepare for future health-related threats,” these countries said in a joint Washington statement. It will be the second global summit on the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than six million people worldwide and disrupted the global economy since it spread in December 2019.
Vaccinate the world, always the goal
US President Joe Biden held a similar summit on September 22, 2021, where he advocated stronger vaccinations worldwide. And today, although the death rate from Covid has dropped significantly around the world, the spread of the virus, particularly its Omicron variant, is preventing several countries from lifting restrictions, starting with China, where millions of people are always locked up.
The US government and those of the countries involved in this summit want to maintain the sense of urgency even in the face of the epidemic. “Ahead of the May 12 Summit, we call on world leaders, members of civil society, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to make new commitments and provide solutions to immunize the world population, save lives now and better ones everywhere building health security in the world,” adds this joint press release.
“Still in the midst of this pandemic”
“The emergence and proliferation of new variants like Omicron has reinforced the need for a strategy to combat Covid-19,” he added. And while the Omicron variant is less dangerous, if more contagious, the countries behind this summit believe it’s imperative to do whatever it takes to prevent new health disasters from surprising the world.
“We know that we must prepare now to build, stabilize and fund the global capacities we need, not only in the face of variants of Covid-19, but also in the face of other health crises,” they warn. The Covid-19 disease is far from endemic and can still cause “major epidemics,” World Health Organization officials said Thursday.
“We are still in the middle of this pandemic, we all wish it wasn’t, but we are not at an endemic stage,” said WHO Covid chief Maria Van Kerkhove.