Covid-19 Still a Public Health Emergency of International Concern: WHO

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NEW DELHI: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday said that three years after it sounded the highest level of global alert over Covid-19, the pandemic still remains an international crisis. “The WHO Director-General concurs with the advice offered by the committee regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and determines that the event continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern,” the UN Health Agency said in a statement.

 

 

The UN body, however, admitted that the virus is ‘probably at a transition point’ but wants to ensure the navigating ‘this transition carefully and mitigate the potential negative consequences’.

“As we enter the fourth year of the pandemic, there is no doubt we are in a far better situation now than we were a year ago when the Omicron wave was at its peak”

It expressed concerns that “since the beginning of December, weekly reported deaths have been rising. In the past eight weeks, more than 170,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19. And that’s just the reported deaths; we know the actual number is much higher.”

The global health body said that though ”we can’t control the Covid-19 virus, we can do more to address the vulnerabilities in populations and health systems.”

 

 

The UN Health Agency issued the statement after the 14th meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, held on Friday, January 27.

In its notification, the global health agency said, “The WHO Director-General concurs with the advice offered by the Committee regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and determines that the event continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).”

The statement said the Committee agreed that COVID-19 remains a dangerous infectious disease with the capacity to cause substantial damage to health and health systems. The Committee discussed whether the continuation of a PHEIC is required to maintain global attention to COVID-19, the potential negative consequences that could arise if the PHEIC was terminated, and how to transition in a safe manner, WHO said.





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