Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19: Global response was too slow and leadership absent, report finds

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 13 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1234
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Tenterden, UK

The covid-19 pandemic was a preventable disaster with weak links at every point in the chain of preparedness and response, according to a high level review panel.

The report from the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Covid-19: Make it the last pandemic, concluded that the alert system was too slow, the World Health Organization was underpowered, and global political leadership was absent.1

The report was commissioned by the WHO director general in response to a resolution at the World Health Assembly made in May 2020. The 13 member panel spent eight months reviewing the evidence on the spread, actions, and responses to the pandemic.

The report says covid-19 has been a terrible wake-up call and “the 21st century’s Chernobyl moment.” It says that the …

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