On the day that the WHO decreed the end of the international health emergency caused by covid-19, the agency was clear in saying that the world cannot forget about crowded cemeteries and hospitals. When asked about Brazil and the lessons the world should learn from the country, some of the agency’s main directors insisted on highlighting the images of crowded hospitals and cemeteries.
Maria van Kerkhove, WHO technical director, praised the Brazilian scientists. “But as we look back, we need to be respectful and humble about what happened,” she said. “I went to Manaus and everyone I met had lost a loved one,” she said.
“What we cannot forget is the number of deaths that occurred. It did not have to be like this,” he insisted. “We can’t forget the images of hospitals, the graves that were dug,” she said.
Brazil came to be among the countries with the highest number of cases and deaths, while the government of Jair Bolsonaro attacked the WHO, denied the seriousness of the crisis and forced an openness of society. The former president even criticized the direction of the WHO, questioned the vaccine and mocked the victims.
At the WHO summit, the order is to welcome the new government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who indicated the return of science and diplomacy as pillars of the relationship with the agency.
“Diplomats and health representatives are involved in negotiating the revision of the texts on the agreement to prevent a new crisis from occurring,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO.
In a harsh message to the previous government, Ryan made it clear he was “impressed” with the country’s new leadership. According to him, the current administration is leading the debate today in Geneva and is one of the anchors of the process.
“We are happy with Brazil’s engagement”, added Ryan, making it clear that the country will have an impact on the future of public health.
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