Corona: Global health expects a “long-term” pandemic

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01:44 am

Sunday 02 August 2020

(Deutsche Welle):

After a regular meeting of the emergency committee, the World Health Organization sounded the alarm again, saying it expects the “long-term” Corona pandemic. The organization considered that the level of global risks of the Corona virus is still “very high”.

In a statement Saturday (1 August 2020), the World Health Organization warned that the Corona pandemic would likely be “long-term.” This came after the emergency committee meeting devoted to assessing health conditions, six months after the alarm was sounded worldwide.

The WHO statement added that during its meeting, which started on Friday, the Emergency Committee focused on “anticipating the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.” In its statement, the world body also warned of what it described as “the risks of inaction in the context of socio-economic pressures.”

The meeting is the fourth held by the committee to discuss the Corona Virus Crisis, and comes six months after its announcement on January 30 that the Corona Virus is a public health emergency of international concern, the highest warning level for the World Health Organization.

The statement also said that the World Health Organization still considers the level of global risks of the Coronavirus to be “very high”, and that it stresses “the importance of a sustainable response community, nationally, regionally and internationally”.

The new Corona virus has killed at least 680,000 people and infected 17 million and 600,000 since the outbreak began in China in December last year, according to an AFP census based on official sources.

The committee, consisting of 18 members and 12 advisers, agreed at its meeting to continue to classify the pandemic as a public health emergency of international concern. The Committee urged WHO to provide precise and practical guidance for responding to the Covid-19 epidemic “to reduce the risk of complacency.” It also urged the organizing committee to support countries in preparing for the stage of offering treatments and vaccines for the epidemic.

The emergency committee also called for accelerating research to uncover the remaining “dangerous and unknown” points surrounding the epidemic, similar to its animal source and the possibility of infection from animals. She called for clarification of the mechanism of the virus, especially “ways of transmission, and possible transformations of the virus, immunity, and prevention.”

The six-hour meeting took place at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, and a number of participants joined it via video. The committee will hold its next meeting after three months. Prior to his participation in the meeting, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesos said the repercussions of the pandemic would be long-term.

He reminded that the committee issued a recommendation six months ago to declare the new Corona virus a public health emergency, at a time when the death toll outside China had not reached 100 and had not recorded any deaths. He said, “This pandemic is a health crisis that we will not witness like it only once every century, and its effects will remain the same for decades to come.”

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