Another pandemic absolutely inevitable, says UK’s scientist

London: The United Kingdom government’s former chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance recently urged the incoming British government to focus on preparing for another pandemic that is “absolutely inevitable”. He warned, “We are not ready yet,” while speaking at a panel event at the Hay festival in Powys, Vallance, The Guardian reported.

“We need to be much faster, much more aligned – and there are ways to do this – at getting rapid diagnostic tests, rapid vaccines, rapid treatments, so that you don’t have to go into the extreme measures that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said repeating what he had said to G7 leaders in 2021.

He lamented by 2023, G7 had “sort of forgotten” his points about the pandemic preparations in 2021. “You can’t forget about it,” he said.

As UK is going to polls, he said the next government must implement “better surveillance”. “We know we have to have an army, not because there’s going to be a war this year, but we know it’s an important part of what we need as a nation,” he said.

He stressed the need to treat this preparedness in the same way and not to view it as an easy thing to keep cutting back when there’s no sign of a pandemic – because there won’t be a sign of a pandemic.

Patrick said the World Health Organisation’s push for the pandemic accord, an agreement for countries to work together to prepare for pandemics, is a step in the right direction but complained there is not enough focus. “If this issue gets pushed off G7 and G20 agendas, we’ll be in exactly the same position, and I hope that’s an important outcome of the inquiry,” he said.

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