Thursday 31 December, 2020, marks the first anniversary of the first report of a cluster of cases of “pneumonia of unknown cause”, later identified as a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and that led to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To mark this milestone on 31 December, and to look ahead to 2021, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has recorded a video statement reflecting on a tumultuous year.
In a statement, the WHO says the year 2020 was unprecedented: “It was the scenario the public health community had feared for decades.”
“Science, solutions and solidarity have been WHO’s tools for addressing the biggest health threat of the past century,” they added.
“This isn’t the first time WHO has responded to a pandemic, and it won’t be the last – but Covid-19 is the most challenging crisis we have ever faced.”
Going into 2021, Adhanom urged countries and communities to invest in strengthening health and emergency preparedness systems, ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines globally, adhere to proven public health measures to protect people from the virus, and work together, in solidarity, to overcome this and future health challenges
Watch Adhanom message below, courtesy of the WHO: