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Africa: Gaps in Biosafety and Biosecurity Could Lead to the Next Global Pandemic, Scientist Warns

Covid-19 has shown that the world is poorly prepared to handle a pandemic. Few mechanisms were in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and its devastating effect on health systems, the economy and society as a whole. How can Africa, in particular, deal with future pandemics? But most importantly, what checks and balances are in place to prevent future outbreaks?

“Covid-19 has shown our complete lack of global preparedness for a pandemic event,” said Andrew Hebbeler, a lead scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative in the United States.

Speaking at the launch of a virtual conference on “Meeting the Challenge of Covid-19 in Africa” on Tuesday, Hebbeler helped shed light on the dangerous gaps in biosafety and biosecurity that could lead to the next global pandemic.

“In our highly interconnected world, biological threats are only increasing. The next pandemic could emerge at any time and may not arise naturally like Covid-19, but could instead result from a laboratory accident or from deliberate misuse.”

Facilitated by Professor Wilmot James from Columbia University, the session included a keynote address from Talkmore Maruta, the Senior Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer at the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and a…

Originally Published via
AllAfrica

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