Dr Ghebreyesus said this on Monday at the ongoing 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, which sets to address global health challenges including future pandemics, and eradicating polio, among others.
He said the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat.
According to him, the threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains.
“This year’s High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Preparedness and Response is a valuable opportunity for leaders to chart a clear path forward towards that future.
“We cannot kick this can down the road. If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when? When the next pandemic comes knocking – and it will – we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably,” he said.