Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has warned there is a ‘way above five per cent’ risk the world has not yet seen the worst of the Covid pandemic.
He said the risk of that happening is ‘way above five per cent’ and would mean the world has yet to see the worst of the pandemic.
It is not the first time he has made such a prediction. In December 2021, he warned his millions of Twitter followers to brace themselves for the worst part of the pandemic, having previously cautioned in 2015 that the world was not ready for the next pandemic.
Gates told the FT: ‘We’re still at risk of this pandemic generating a variant that would be even more transmissive and even more fatal.
‘It’s not likely, I don’t want to be a voice of doom and gloom, but it’s way above a 5 per cent risk that this pandemic, we haven’t even seen the worst of it.’
Gates — who releases his new book “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic” on Tuesday — advised governments across the world to invest in a team of epidemiologists and computer modellers to help identify global health threats in the future.
He called his plan the Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization initiative and said it should be managed by the WHO — the only body he claimed was capable to build and manage the ‘top-notch’ team of experts at a cost of around $1 billion a year.
He said the WHO’s current funding model was ‘not at all serious about pandemics’ and that less than ten people had been working full time on outbreak preparedness while also being distracted with other activities.
Gates’ comments come at the end of a week when daily Covid hospitalisations in the UK hit a two-month low and deaths plunged 40 percent in a week.
Government dashboard data — which is becoming increasingly unreliable now that free testing has been scrapped — showed there were 1,186 admissions for the virus across the UK on April 23.
It marked a near-18 percent decrease on the previous week and a 36 percent fall in a fortnight. It was also the lowest number since February 27, when there were 1,101 admissions.
Separate NHS figures show more than half of patients with Covid in hospitals are not primarily sick with the virus.