- Tedros says world has learnt the hard way that strong healthcare systems are "the foundation of global health security and of social and economic development
The lack of global leadership and unity to fight the coronavirus is a bigger threat than the outbreak itself, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Monday, adding that politicisation of the pandemic had made it worse.
He did not elaborate but the WHO has been criticised by some members states, especially the United States which says it was too weak, too slow and too "China-centric" in tackling the disease.
Other members have called for a review into the pandemic, with Australia urging the WHO to have more powers, enabling it to respond more quickly to a health crisis.
"The world is in desperate need of national unity and global solidarity. The politicisation of the pandemic has exacerbated it," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual health forum organised by the World Government Summit, an event organised in Dubai.
He also said all countries must make universal healthcare a priority, warning the world had learnt the hard way that strong healthcare systems were "the foundation of global health security and of social and economic development."
The WHO on Friday warned the pandemic was accelerating, as global infections rose above 8.3 million people with 453,834 deaths.
Norway's health minister, Bent Hoeie, cautioned that the outbreak was "far from over".