Bill Gates issues ominous warning that far worse pandemics could follow Covid

The billionaire philanthropist said that while the  and  variants of coronavirus were some of the most transmissive viruses ever seen, the world could have been hit by a more virulent pathogen causing more deaths and severe illnesses. To prepare for future pandemics and bolster the ongoing fight against Covid, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged on Tuesday $150m (£110m) to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI).

“As the world responds to the challenge of a rapidly evolving virus, the need to deliver new, lifesaving tools has never been more urgent,” Mr Gates said in a statement.

“Our work over the past 20 years has taught us that early investment in research and development can save lives and prevent worst-case scenarios.”