BBC News, Geneva

Progress towards ending the Covid-19 pandemic and preparing for future outbreaks is slow and uneven, a new report warns.

The report, called Losing Time, comes from former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who were appointed by the World Health Organization to chair an independent panel on pandemic preparedness.

In the report they suggest progress has been hampered by a lack of unity – a further 1.65 million people have died, large parts of the world have little or no access to vaccines, while wealthy countries are issuing boosters.

It is particularly critical of the pharmaceutical industry, suggesting the world is hostage to companies whose main interest is making profits.

Failure to work together is prolonging the pandemic, the report says, and leaving us unprepared for the next one.

The warning comes ahead of a meeting of WHO member states in Geneva, to discuss a global pandemic treaty.

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