An expert group reports errors in the management of COVID-19 and makes proposals

2022/09/15 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

As well as criticising the management of COVID-19, the report contains proposals for the future. - Ed. Anderson/CC-BY

 

According to a report published by an international group of experts in The Lancet, mismanagement of COVID-19 has caused millions of preventable deaths. The report has been prepared by over 28 experts from all over the world and from different disciplines (public policies, governance, epidemiology, vaccines, economics, sustainability, mental health…) with the collaboration of over 100 partners over two years. In addition to accepting the errors made, they make prospective proposals.

The first of the highlights concerns the origin of SARS-CoV-2. They still do not know for certain how this virus appeared and came to humans, but their clarification has seemed important to them to prevent it from occurring in the future.

In its view, the World Health Organization acted too slowly and cautiously on key issues such as emergency, masking recommendation or acceptance of airborne transmission.

Coordination between Governments was also inadequate and, furthermore, citizens were unable to take measures such as lack of transparency, poor communication and misinformation.

On the other hand, they stress that public policies have not taken into account behaviors - science and social sciences - and have not been able to appropriate social differences and adequately respond. Thus, the damage has been blatantly blamed among the most vulnerable groups: minorities, low incomes, children, women, the unemployed…

Although they recognize that the development of vaccines was rapid, they denounce the injustices that have occurred in property and distribution. In this regard, they have warned that the exit from impoverished countries is largely dependent on vaccination and have called for international funding.

At the same time, they have shown that the Sustainable Development Goals have suffered a considerable setback in many countries, and that there is no funding to achieve them, not even to comply with the Paris Climate Convention.

Future proposals

The recommendations include the need for global coordination in vaccination, testing, treatment of new infections and permanent COVID, measures, safety of the workplace and economic and social support for isolation.

They call on the WHO to clarify the origin of the virus and to strengthen the Scientific Council to establish health priorities based on scientific evidence. Criteria for the membership of this Committee are also provided: They must be from all areas of the WHO, young and paired. Recommendations are made to consolidate the WHO itself.

They have focused on the prevention of emerging diseases and on ensuring public health systems that care for all, from the global level to the communities. In addition, each country should have resources to prevent and respond to future health risks.

They also propose the creation of a new Global Health Fund, closely linked to the WHO. Its main function is to coordinate existing funds and to re-fund disease control resources to address pandemics and strengthen primary care.

The ultimate goal is to learn from what happened and build a strong and strong political health system that guarantees people's health and well-being.