BERLIN: A year-and-a-half into the coronavirus pandemic, the world has still done far too little to respond and has failed to learn from its mistakes, a global health monitor said on Tuesday, reports AFP.
In a report launched in Berlin, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), an independent body set up by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, slammed the continued failings in the global response to the pandemic.
The pandemic has exposed a world that is "unequal, divided, and unaccountable", it concluded.
"The health emergency ecosystem reflects this broken world. It is not fit for purpose and needs major reform."
The report, launched at the Global Health Summit in Berlin, comes as the number of deaths from the coronavirus nears five million, according to an AFP tally of official sources.
Taking into account excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, the WHO estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.
The grim milestone approaches in the context of a sharp divide between wealthier and poorer regions in terms of vaccination rates. World Trade Organization chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala pointed out earlier this month that, of more than six billion vaccine doses administered worldwide, only 1.4 percent of people in poor countries have been fully vaccinated.
"However, we must feel deep shame over multiple tragedies -- vaccine hoarding, the devastating oxygen shortages in low-income countries, the generation of children deprived of education, the shattering of fragile economies and health systems."
He also said that the millions of deaths from the pandemic was "neither normal nor acceptable".
"Sadly, there is scant evidence that we are learning the right lessons from this pandemic. Thousands continue to die every day, yet many talk and act as if the pandemic is over," he said.
In a 2020 report, the GPMB said the pandemic had already revealed how little the world had focused on preparing for such disasters, despite ample warnings that large disease outbreaks were inevitable.