Calgary Herald



The coronaviru­s pandemic might not be the “big one” that experts have long feared, a World Health Organizati­on official warned Tuesday during the global health agency's last virtual media briefing of the year.

Since the first reports of the novel coronaviru­s began circulatin­g nearly a year ago, the WHO has repeatedly warned that the world must prepare for even deadlier pandemics in the future.

“This pandemic has been very severe,” WHO emergencie­s chief Mark Ryan said. “It has affected every corner of this planet. But this is not necessaril­y the big one.”

The coronaviru­s, he said, should serve as a “wake-up call.”

“These threats will continue,” he said. “One thing we need to take from this pandemic, with all of the tragedy and loss, is we need to get our act together. We need to honour those we've lost by getting better at what we do every day.”

After the novel coronaviru­s emerged in China late last year, 2020 is coming to an end amid the rollout of new coronaviru­s vaccines.

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