Dec. 29 (UPI) — In its closing press convention of the yr, consultants with the World Well being Group urged the worldwide group to view the present coronavirus pandemic as a “wake-up name” as worse well being crises loom.

Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO Emergencies Program head, mentioned Monday throughout a digital press convention of U.N. well being physique officers that they have to be taught from the present well being disaster to honor those that have misplaced their lives to it and to organize for the following pandemic, “which can be extra extreme.”

“This pandemic has been very extreme,” he mentioned. “It unfold all over the world extraordinarily shortly and has affected each nook of this planet, however this isn’t essentially the massive one.”

He mentioned since we dwell on a fragile planet inside an more and more advanced international system the specter of pandemics will proceed and if there is just one lesson to be discovered from COVID-19 and the tragedy and loss it has wrought it’s that “we have to get our act collectively.”

“We have to prepare for one thing which can be extra extreme sooner or later,” he mentioned. “On this, we should honor these we now have misplaced by getting higher at what we do on daily basis.”

The press convention was held days forward of the one-year anniversary since WHO discovered on Dec. 31, 2019, from Chinese language well being authorities of individuals falling sick from a “pneumonia with unknown trigger” in Wuhan metropolis.

In March, it declared the outbreak a pandemic, throughout which greater than 81.2 million individuals have contracted the virus, together with 1.77 million who’ve died from COVID-19, in accordance with a dwell tracker of the virus by Johns Hopkins College.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, mentioned nations that had skilled infectious illness outbreaks, comparable to SARS in 2003, MERS in 2015 and others, had a response that was carried out by “muscle reminiscence” and a well being infrastructure and workforce constructed from trauma.

“It will not be probably the most high-income nations throughout on the planet however utilizing the sources, the individuals, the communities to the most effective of their talents and in doing so and having that trauma of earlier outbreaks after they heard our warnings early on … used that as a name to say that is one thing massive,” she mentioned.

She advised reporters that she hopes they’ve all gained that very same muscle reminiscence by way of this traumatic yr to propel the worldwide group to construct societies “which are ready for the following one.”

“We’re leaning. We’ll proceed to be taught and I’m hopeful that we’ll be higher ready for the following one,” she mentioned. “However we can’t go from this sample of urgency to neglect.”