Pandemic health costs pushed 500 million people into poverty

Pandemic health costs

Globally, above half a billion (500 million) people were broken into extreme poverty the previous year because they paid for health costs out of their own pockets in the extent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation, and the World Bank said on Sunday.

As per the joint report from both the organizations, the pandemic disturbed health services worldwide and prompted the worst economic disaster since the 1930s, causing it even more problematic for people to pay for healthcare.

“All governments must immediately resume and accelerate efforts to ensure every one of their citizens can access health services without fear of the financial consequences,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Read more: PM Imran Khan credits govt policies for decline in poverty in FY21

Tedros insisted governments raise their attention on healthcare systems and follow the course on the road to universal health coverage, which the WHO outlines as everybody getting approach to health services they require without financial hardship.

Healthcare is a main political concern in the United States, only a few industrialized states do not have universal coverage for their citizens.

Internationally, the pandemic caused things worse as health costs surged and vaccination coverage fell for the first time in ten years, with expiries due to malaria and tuberculosis increasing.

“Within a constrained fiscal space, governments will have to make tough choices to protect and increase health budgets,” Juan Pablo Uribe, global director for health, nutrition, and the population at World Bank, said.

In the meantime, Austria terminated lockdown limitations for inoculated persons across most of the country on Sunday, three weeks after reimposing severe directions to battle an increasing tendency of coronavirus infections.

Moreover, the guidelines, which differ by area within the country, mainly permit for the reopening of museums, theaters, and other cultural and entertainment venues on Sunday. Shops will be followed on Monday. Certain areas are reopening hotels and restaurants on Sunday; however, others will wait till late in the month. In all cases, the blackout will be observed at 11 pm for restaurants, and masks will still be vital on public transportation and inside stores and public spaces.

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