National positivity rate of Covid-19 falls to 1.35pc

Published October 27, 2021
In this file photo, a resident receives a vaccine dose against Covid-19 at a drive-through vaccination facility in Karachi. — Reuters/File
In this file photo, a resident receives a vaccine dose against Covid-19 at a drive-through vaccination facility in Karachi. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: While national positivity rate of Covid-19 cases dropped to 1.35 per cent, the country reported 572 more infections and six patients died in the last 24 hours.

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), an international body responsible for assessing the state of the world’s preparedness for pandemics and other health emergencies, has warned that the world does not have the capacity to bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic in near future.

The data of the National Command and Operation Centre shows that as of October 26, the number of active cases in the country was 24,196. As many as 1,573 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country and 224 of them were on ventilators.

The GPMB has issued the stark warning to global leaders in its 2021 report stating that the current health emergency ecosystem reflects a broken world, defined by inequality, division and a lack of accountability.

World doesn’t have capacity to end pandemic in near future, warns international monitoring body

The report, launched at the World Health Summit in Berlin, states that the world has neither the capacity to bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic in the near future nor to prevent the next one, without a coherent and concerted effort to reform the health emergency ecosystem.

GPMB co-chair Elhadj As Sy says in a statement: “If the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic was defined by a collective failure to take preparedness seriously and act rapidly on the basis of science, the second has been marked by profound inequalities and a failure of leaders to understand our interconnectedness and act accordingly. What will the third year bring?”

In its report titled “From Worlds Apart to a World Prepared”, the GPMB urges leaders to take political responsibility for a widespread transformation of the health emergency ecosystem, and take a series of immediate actions to demonstrate their commitment and intent. The window of opportunity for reform is closing fast as the impact of the pandemic eases in some countries and the world’s attention moves elsewhere, it cautions.

The GPMB shares its deep concern that Covid-19 has exposed a broken and divided world in which access to vaccines depends on ability to pay rather than need; where governments, leaders and institutions are too often unaccountable to their populations; and in which societies are fragmented, nationalism is growing, and geopolitical tensions are rising.

“The lack of global equity is also caused by long-standing systemic inequities in the global health emergency ecosystem and the broader international system. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of global solidarity as being equivalent to goodwill and aid, rather than equity and common interest. Rich countries continue to offer aid via donations of medical countermeasures rather than supporting manufacturing capabilities, technology transfers, and fairer intellectual property provisions,” the statement says.

According to the GPMB, six critical solutions are needed for a safer world: strengthen global governance, adopt an international agreement on health emergency preparedness and response, and convene a summit of heads of states and governments, together with other stakeholders, on health emergency preparedness and response.

“Build a strong World Health Organisation with greater re­­­sources, authority, and accountability. Create an agile hea­lth emergency system that can deliver on equity throu­gh better information sharing, and an end-to-end mechanism for re­­­search, development and equitable access to common goods. Establish a collective financing mechanism for preparedness to ensure more sustainable, predictable, flexible, and scalable financing. Empower communities and ensure engagement of civil society and the private sector. Strengthen independent monitoring and mutual accountability,” it recommends.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2021

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