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As new COVID-20 strains strike, WHO warns of setbacks in 2021

Dr Tedros raises toast to science, banks on UK, SA research

We must ensure that countries are not punished for transparently sharing new scientific findings, said Dr Tedros.

GENEVA, Dec 29 (BNC Network) - Reflecting on the toll the COVID19 pandemic has taken, the WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned the world against setbacks and new challenges in the year ahead.

“For example, new variants of COVID19 and helping people who are tired of the pandemic continue to combat it," Dr Tedros said addressing a virtual global media conference last night.

Talking to media for the last time during the 2020, Dr Tedros said this is a moment for all of us to reflect on the toll the COVID19 pandemic has taken, the progress we have made, the lessons we have learned, and what we need to do in the year ahead to end this pandemic.

He raised a toast to science and said: “may we share its results fairly and equitably in the year ahead and together end this pandemic?”

At present, Dr Tedros said, “we are working closely with scientists all over the world to better understand any and all changes to the COVID19 virus and how these changes affect its ability to spread or make people sick, or any potential impact on available tests, treatments and vaccines”.

The WHO is working with scientists in the United Kingdom and South Africa who are carrying out epidemiologic and laboratory studies, which will guide next steps, he disclosed.

He said only if countries are looking and testing effectively will you be able to pick up variants and adjust strategies to cope. “We must ensure that countries are not punished for transparently sharing new scientific findings," he said and explained: "This means the prompt sharing of epidemiological, virological, and full genome sequence information with WHO and other countries and research teams, including through open-source platforms such as GISAID and others".

“We have worked with thousands of scientists from around the Earth globe Europe-Africa to build global solidarity engaging with our critics and calling repeatedly for all stakeholders to quarantine any politicization of COVID19 and focus on accelerating science to save lives and end this pandemic,” Dr Tedros pointed out.

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