COVID Still an International Health Emergency According to WHO

COVID Still an International Health Emergency According to WHO

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

Addressing an online meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee he noted that this week marks the three-year anniversary of the determination of the COVID-19 PHEIC in January 2020.

He said that while the world is in a better position that it was this time last year, at the peak of Omicron transmission, more than 170,000 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported globally within the last eight weeks.

Latest figures from the WHO show over 232,000 new cases in the WHO Europe region in the last seven days with 1,739 deaths.

Surveillance and genetic sequencing have declined globally, making it more difficult to track known variants and detect new ones. Health systems are currently struggling with COVID-19 and caring for patients with influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), health workforce shortages, and fatigued health workers.

Dr. Ghebreyesus pointed out the important role that vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics continue to play but said that the COVID-19 response remains hobbled in too many countries unable to provide these tools to the populations most in need, older people and health workers.

The Director-General acknowledged the Committee’s views that the COVID-19 pandemic is probably at a transition point and appreciates the advice of the Committee to navigate this transition carefully and mitigate the potential negative consequences.

WHO is urging countries to remain vigilant and continue reporting surveillance and genomic sequencing data.

The Committee was informed that, globally, 13.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, with 89% of health workers and 81% of older adults (over 60 years) having completed the primary series. Significant progress has also been made in developing effective medical countermeasures; building global capacity for genomic sequencing and genomic epidemiology; and in understanding how to manage the infodemic in the new informational eco-system including social media platforms.

Temporary Recommendations issued by the WHO Director-General to all States Parties include;

  • Maintenance of momentum for COVID-19 vaccination to achieve 100% coverage of high-priority groups
  • Improved reporting of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance data to WHO.
  • Maintenance of a strong national response capacity and preparation for future events to avoid the occurrence of a panic-neglect cycle.
  • Continued work with communities and their leaders to address the infodemic and to effectively implement risk-based public health and social measures.
  • Continued adjustment to any remaining international travel-related measures, based on risk assessment, and to not require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as a prerequisite for international travel.
  • Continued support for research for improved vaccines that reduce transmission.

Image by Paul Kagame/Via WordPressCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Join our mailing list and never miss an update !
EIB Approves up to €1.7 billion for Renewable Energy Rollout in Spain, Italy and Portugal

EIB Approves up to €1.7 billion for Renewable Energy Rollout in Spain, Italy and Portugal

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved framework financing of up to €1.7 billion for Solaria to support the construction of some 120 photovoltaic power plants. Listed on the Spanish stock

EU to pay Additional Millions to Tunisia

EU to pay Additional Millions to Tunisia

A good two months after the migration pact with Tunisia, the EU Commission is once again releasing millions of euros for the North African country. The aim is

EU Releases €140 million to Support Afghan People, Particularly Girls and Women

EU Releases €140 million to Support Afghan People, Particularly Girls and Women

The European Union has agreed to release €140 million of basic needs and livelihoods assistance in the fields of education, health, agriculture and women's economic empowerment in Afghanistan. The decision