COVID-19 has crippled the world economy and forced many countries into nationwide lockdowns. Germany has led the way in terms of coping with the contagion and has reported 3,804 deaths from 134,753 cases at the time of writing. Despite those statistics, Germany’s Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Muller claimed the world must adapt and prepare for further virus pandemics.
Speaking to Schwabische Zeitung, Mr Muller also stated the EU’s actions going forward will decide its long-term survival.
He added: “Corona will not have been the last pandemic.
“We have to and we can arm ourselves against it – so Corona is also a wake-up call for stronger international cooperation.
“This will become Europe’s economic and political survival issue.”
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Experts in Iceland have already identified 40 other strain that have the potential to trigger pandemics.
Mr Muller also called for a restructuring of the World Health Organisation into a ‘World Pandemic Centre’ with precise monitoring of outbreaks.
Supporting Mr Muller’s prediction, US virologist Nathan Wolfe stated the COVID-19 outbreak will not “be the last” or the “the worst” pandemic to hit.
Writing for Time magazine, Mr Wolfe stated: “COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic in our deeply interconnected world, and sadly it won’t be the worst.
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“There are two profoundly different possible futures are available to us: one in which we stick our heads in the sand as we have consistently done, and one where humanity takes the hard, necessary steps to protect itself.”
Germany has recently announced an exit strategy from its lockdown.
Both Spain and Italy have also begun to reopen certain businesses in order to try and restart their economies.
Sweden has also kept its schools open during the virus pandemic, while Denmark announced today they will now do the same.
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However, speaking today, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge warned the next few weeks will be critical for Europe.
He said: “The storm clouds of this pandemic still hang heavily over the European region.
“The next few weeks will be critical for Europe.
“Make no mistake, despite the spring weather, we are in the middle of a storm.”
The UK Government is expected to announce a three-week extension to the lockdown today.
The extension comes as the rate of infections was said to be slowing, England’s chief medical adviser professor Chris Whitty said.
He did add, however, that the restrictions cannot be relaxed too soon.
An exit strategy will be compiled in the next 10 days amid calls for increased clarity.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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