Washington announces global summit on COVID-19 on May 12

A global summit to end the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future health threats will be held on May 12, the White House announced Monday.

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This virtual meeting is co-chaired by the United States, Germany, currently chairing the G7, Indonesia, chairing the G20, Senegal, chairing the African Union, and Belize, chairing Caricom (Caribbean country).

“The summit will redouble our joint efforts to end the acute phase of the COVID-19 outbreak and prepare for future health-related threats,” the countries said in a joint statement released by Washington.

It will be the second global summit on the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than six million people worldwide and disrupted the global economy since it spread in December 2019.

US President Joe Biden held a similar summit on September 22, 2021, where he advocated stronger vaccinations worldwide.

And although the death rate from COVID has dropped significantly around the world, the spread of the virus, particularly its Omicron variant, is preventing several countries from lifting restrictions today, starting with China, where millions of people are always locked down.

The US government and those of the countries involved in this summit want to maintain the sense of urgency even in the face of the epidemic. “Ahead of the May 12 Summit, we call on world leaders, members of civil society, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to make new commitments and provide solutions to immunize the world population, save lives now and improve health security everywhere building the world,” adds this joint press release.

“The emergence and proliferation of new variants like Omicron has reinforced the need for a strategy to combat COVID-19,” he added.

And while the Omicron variant is less dangerous, if more contagious, the countries behind this summit believe it’s imperative to do whatever it takes to prevent new health disasters from surprising the world.

“We know that we must prepare now to build, stabilize and fund the global capacities we need, not only in the face of COVID-19 variants but also in the face of other health crises,” they warn.

The COVID-19 disease is far from endemic and can still cause “major epidemics,” World Health Organization officials said Thursday.

“We are still in the midst of this pandemic, we all wish it weren’t, but we are not at an endemic stage,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO COVID response officer.

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