NEW DELHI, May 2
Just when we thought Covid was almost over and life could get back to normal after two years of pandemic, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates issued a new warning to the world. Gates has warned that there could still be a variant "even more transmissive and even more fatal" than the Delta and Omicron variants.
"We haven't even seen the worst of it," Gates said in an interview with the Financial Times.
The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist said that he doesn’t want to be a "voice of doom and gloom" but the risk of a more virulent variant emerging is "way above 5 per cent".
"We're still at risk of this pandemic generating a variant that would be even more transmissive and even more fatal," Gates said. He also warned that longer-lasting vaccines that block infection are urgently required in order to tackle the upcoming pandemic.
Gates is also urging the creation of a team of international experts including epidemiologists and computer modellers to identify threats and improve international coordination.
He is also calling for a global epidemic response team, managed by the World Health Organisation, to make extra investment in order to tackle the situation much in advance. "It seems wild to me that we could fail to look at this tragedy and not, on behalf of the citizens of the world, make these investments," the billionaire said.
Gates has been warning about a pandemic for the last several years. During a TED Talk in 2015 he talked about the threat of super-virus. Gates has also written a book called "How to Prevent the Next Pandemic", which talks about lessons learnt from the pandemic and how to prevent the next one.