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Science amazing, but no global coordination: WHO chief scientist on COVID-19 pandemic

Speaking in a panel discussion as part of BioAsia 2022, she said though several high-end countries have completed vaccination to the extent of 90 per cent some of the nations in Africa have completed only 10 per cent inoculation even as there was ease on vaccine supply side globally.

February 24, 2022 / 07:04 PM IST
World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan (Image: Reuters)

World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan (Image: Reuters)

Though the scientific achievement with regards to tackling COVID-19 pandemic is commendable, there was no global coordination on some of the issue and several countries did not abide by the framework put out by the Word Health Organisation, Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of WHO said on Thursday.

Speaking in a panel discussion as part of BioAsia 2022, she said though several high-end countries have completed vaccination to the extent of 90 per cent some of the nations in Africa have completed only 10 per cent inoculation even as there was ease on vaccine supply side globally.

"I think that while the scientific achievements have been absolutely outstanding, the fact that we have a vaccine in less than a year, Where we fell short was on really global coordination and harmonised ways of approaching pandemic whether it is travel rules. That doesn’t help actually in the pandemic,” she said referring to the reaction to travel restrictions on South Africa when a new variant of COVID-19 was found.

The WHO chief scientist further said though the world has passed over the face of acute supply shortage that was seen throughout 2021, the challenge is going to be massive as there are many countries which are not able to mount the kind of massive vaccination programmes.