The ongoing coronavirus pandemic was a “preventable disaster” worsened by poor global coordination and hesitation, a panel of health experts said Wednesday.

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR), a team of experts assembled in May 2020 by the World Health Organization’s member states to access the worldwide response, said that inadequacies were apparent at every level.

“Preparation was inconsistent and underfunded,” the report said, MarketWatch reported. “The alert system was too slow — and too meek. The World Health Organization was underpowered. The response has exacerbated inequalities. Global leadership was absent.”

The report said each country should enact public health policies that will contain the spread of the coronavirus and WHO should create a plan with clear goals and targets to monitor individual nations’ efforts.

“COVID-19 has been a terrible wake-up call,” the panel said, MarketWatch reported. “So now the world needs to wake up, and commit to clear targets, additional resources, new measures and strong leadership to prepare for the future.”

Nearly 160 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide since the pandemic began early last year, with more than 3.3 million related deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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