The coronavirus pandemic and its far reaching consequences are “much worse than any science fiction” and this is only the beginning, an expert told MPs today.
David Nabarro, who is one of the World Health Organization's (WHO) special envoys on Covid-19, told the Foreign Affairs Committee that the present situation is just the tip of the iceberg.
“This is really serious. We're not even in the middle of it yet,” he told MPs. “The virus is really at the beginning of its troubles throughout our world and I personally believe that it is going to have a really negative impact.”
He said the outbreak is worse than any piece of science fiction, and appears to be getting “nastier” as cases reemerge in Europe.
His comments follow those of a similar vein made by the WHO chief on Monday.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that Europe is “not out of the woods”, and that while deaths remain at a "relatively low level", the average number of daily cases across the continent is now higher than during the first peak of the pandemic.
Speaking to the select committee on Tuesday, Dr Nabarro also noted how the current situation could have been avoided had countries invested in pandemic preparedness and paid more attention to emergency alerts made by the WHO in January.
"None of us find the present situation anything other than really horrible, really grotesque, really embarrassing,” he added.
"It's a terrible situation, a health issue has got so out of control it's knocking the world into, not just a recession, but a huge economic contraction which would probably double the number of poor people, double the number of malnourished, lead to hundreds of millions of small businesses going bankrupt."
The coronavirus pandemic has also had a hugely negative impact on the lives and education of young people across the world. The future livelihoods of these young people are at risk, he said.
“It's awful. And we really, really are, all of us, deeply saddened and troubled by it,” he added.
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