British scientist warns next pandemic is 'completely inevitable'

A top British scientist has raised alarm and warned that another pandemic is "absolutely inevitable".
British scientist warns next pandemic is 'completely inevitable'

The world has not fully recovered from the impact of Covid-19 yet, and now there's another shocking news coming in. A top British scientist has raised alarm and warned that another pandemic is "absolutely inevitable". While applauding the WHO's pandemic pact as a beginning in the right direction, Mr. Sir Patrick Vallance emphasized the necessity for ongoing attention and effective investigation procedures.

Sir Patrick Vallance, former chief scientific adviser to the British government, has urged the UK government to prepare for what's about to come. He stressed on the fact that the country is "not ready" for it yet.

According to the Guardian report, Vallance was speaking at an event at the Hay Festival in Powys, where he emphasized that the UK must implement "better surveillance" methods to detect virus threats. The top scientist also suggested a few tips to prevent a pandemic-like situation. Measures such as vaccines, diagnostic tests, and treatments can go a long way in helping the health workers fight the virus, he added. He also said that while these things could be implemented, it would still require coordination.

"We know we have to have an army, not because there's going to be a war this year, but we know it's an important part of what we need as a nation. We need to treat this preparedness in the same way and not to view it as an easy thing to keep cutting back when there's no sign of a pandemic - because there won't be a sign of a pandemic," Vallance said, as quoted by The Guardian.

He said that the WHO's pandemic accord is a "positive step". However, he didn't mince his words in criticising it for its "lack of urgency and focus". Last week, WHO said that Covid-19 has cut short the global life expectancy by almost two years.  As per the world health statistics study by WHO, global life expectancy has fallen by 1.8 years to 71.4 years - going back to 2012 level.

Biography of Sir Patrick Vallance:

Sir Patrick Vallance was Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) from April 2018 to April 2023. He was also National Technology Adviser (NTA) and Head of the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) Profession.

Patrick was President, R&D at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from 2012 until 2017. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President, Medicines Discovery and Development. He joined the company in May 2006 as Head of Drug Discovery. He was a member of the GSK Board and the Corporate Executive Team. During his period as head of R&D, many new medicines were approved for use worldwide, for diseases ranging from cancer and rare diseases in children, to asthma and HIV.

National Technology Adviser is responsible for:

  • Providing direction for the Office for Science and Technology Strategy (OSTS) alongside the Deputy National Technology Adviser

  • Advising the government on policy matters to enable strategic advantage through science and technology

  • Advising the Prime Minister and National Security Council on matters of technology and strategic advantage.

Head of the Government Science and Engineering Profession is responsible for:

  • Leading the science and engineering profession within the Civil Service

  • Co-coordinating and encouraging the sharing of good practice

  • Working with departmental Heads of Science and Engineering Profession (HoSEPs) to ensure that scientists are able to access the right professional skills and learning and development activities within their departments