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Next pandemic could come 'within a decade', warns G20 panel

Sunday, 11 July 2021 (10:29 IST)
In the final communiqué of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors' meeting in Venice, Italy, the monetary policy leaders expressed concerns about how the Delta variant first detected in India has overtaken nations like Brazil and South Africa and potentially threatens the global economic recovery. 

The final communiqué opens, "the recovery is characterised by great divergences across and within countries and remains exposed to downside risks, in particular the spread of new variants of the COVID-19 virus and different paces of vaccination."

Earlier Saturday, a panel of experts convened by the G20 told the fiscal bosses the world needs to invest more to avoid a COVID pandemic-like situation in the future. They presented a report to G20 finance ministers during a summit in Venice, Italy.

"The world is far from equipped to prevent or stop the next pandemic. There is every likelihood that the next pandemic will come within a decade — arising from a novel influenza strain, another coronavirus, or one of several other dangerous pathogens," said the High Level Independent Panel in their report.

The panel recommended that nations collectively commit to increasing spending for prevention and preparedness by at least $75 billion (€63 billion) over the next five years.

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