1.06am EDT 01:06 Karen McVeigh Spending $5 (£3.90) per person annually on global health security over the next fiv...
Spending $5 (£3.90) per person annually on global health security over the next five years could prevent a future “catastrophic” pandemic, according to a former head of the World Health Organization (WHO).
It would cost the world billions of dollars, but that amount would be a huge saving on the $11tn response to Covid-19, said Gro Harlem Brundtland, who, with other prominent international experts, sounded the alarm over the threat of a fast-spreading deadly pandemic last September.
The costs are based on estimates by McKinsey & Company, which found the average annual costs to prepare for pandemic over the next five years would be equivalent to $4.70 per capita.
Brundtland, co-chair of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) and a former prime minister of Norway, said there had been a collective failure to take prevention and response seriously and to prioritise it. “We are all paying the price,” she said:
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In the UK, close to half a million redundancies are likely to be announced in the autumn, although the number could end up exceeding 700,000, according to a study that lays bare the scale of the Covid-19 jobs crisis facing the UK.
These job cuts are on top of 240,000 redundancies officially recorded by the government up until June. That means the total redundancy figure for 2020 could top one million.
In a bleak warning, the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), which published the analysis, said the number of jobs likely to be lost “will almost certainly exceed anything we have experienced in at least a generation” – far exceeding the peak reached in the last downturn just over a decade ago and the highest since at least 1995.
With the autumn budget weeks away, it is calling for urgent measures to support those affected, stimulate employment growth and provide targeted help to viable firms:
In Australia, the state of Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, says death threats and extreme trolling have taken an “enormous toll”, with a permanent police escort now assigned to the officer.
The state’s leadership, including Young, have come under intense scrutiny in recent days over Queensland’s hardline approach to border control in response to the coronavirus, which has prevented multiple family members from attending loved one’s funerals.
The Queensland AMA president, Chris Perry, told the Today show on Monday that Young had been receiving death threats. He said she now required police guards at her home and officers “who go with her everywhere” for her safety.