At a press briefing in Geneva on Monday, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for coronavirus response, Maria Van Kerkhove, spoke about the impact that Covid-19 can have on the future, and how it provides an opportunity for improvement.
“Everyone is feeling the fatigue of this pandemic, but we have a long way to go,” Van Kerkhove said. “We need to remain focused. We need to remain strong. We need to accept that this is challenging, but use these challenges to really put it towards something positive and fight this pandemic together.”
“I hope we will never see something like this again,” she said. “But we also must use this as an opportunity to build back stronger, to build back better.”
Van Kerkhove said that Covid-19 should be used as an opportunity to enhance public health infrastructure, and to build it up in many places. That means having surveillance in place, having a public health workforce in place, having trained health workers – who have the right equipment and personal protective equipment – and ensuring that there is the supplies that protect frontline workers, who in turn protect everyone else.
“Again, we need to use this as an opportunity to build back better,” she said. “And so, if this does happen again, that we are in a much better position to be able to tackle it.”