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WHO launches PRET to prepare world for pandemics

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    5th May, 2023


The World Health Organization (WHO) launched ‘PRET’, a new initiative to be better prepared for future outbreaks of a similar scale and devastation as the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • PRET stands for Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats.

Key terminology

  • An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease in a particular location.
  • A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease which spreads to and occurs in many different geographic areas at the same time.
  • Endemic diseases are established and circulating regularly in populations. Some endemic diseases such as influenza can have surges in transmission or have epidemics at certain times.
  • A pathogen is an organism which causes a disease to its host, including but not limited to viruses.
  • Aim: The Initiative is aimed at providing “guidance on integrated planning for responding to any respiratory pathogen such as influenza or coronaviruses”.
  • Focus on first module: While the current focus of PRET will be on respiratory viruses — in the backdrop of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, possible threat of an avian influenza outbreak — work is already underway to assess what should be the next group of pathogens to be mitigated under this initiative.
  • PRET incorporates the latest tools and approaches for shared learning and collective action established during the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent public health emergencies. 

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