The committee “highlighted the anticipated prolonged length of this COVID-19 pandemic“, the WHO mentioned in an announcement, and warned of the danger of “response fatigue” given the socio-economic pressures on international locations.
The panel gathered Friday for the fourth time over the coronavirus disaster, half a 12 months on from its January 30 declaration of a public well being emergency of worldwide concern (PHEIC) — the WHO’s highest stage of alarm.
“WHO continues to assess the global risk level of COVID-19 to be very high,” it mentioned following the assembly.
The novel coronavirus has killed at the very least 680,000 folks and contaminated at the very least 17.6 million for the reason that outbreak emerged in China final December, in accordance with a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.
Unsurprisingly, the panel, comprising 17 members and 12 advisers, unanimously agreed that the pandemic nonetheless constituted a PHEIC.
Several international locations around the globe have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to regulate the unfold of the respiratory illness, plunging economies into sharp contraction.
The committee urged the WHO to offer nuanced, pragmatic steerage on COVID-19 administration “to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures”.
The panel urged the WHO to help international locations in getting ready for the rollout of confirmed therapeutics and vaccines.
The committee additionally urged the company to speed up analysis into the remaining “critical unknowns” of the virus, such because the animal supply of the illness and potential animal reservoirs.
It referred to as for improved understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19, together with its long-term well being results.
And the committee wished extra mild shed on the dynamics of the virus, equivalent to “modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations; immunity and correlates of protection”.
The close to six-hour gathering was hosted on the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, with some individuals becoming a member of through video-link.
The committee will reconvene throughout the subsequent three months.
Going into the assembly, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned the pandemic’s results could be long-lasting.
“It’s sobering to think that six months ago, when you recommended I declare a PHEIC, there were less than 100 cases and no deaths outside China,” he mentioned Friday.
“The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come.”
The committee warned international locations to arrange their well being methods to deal with seasonal influenza and different illness outbreaks alongside the brand new coronavirus.
They had been additionally urged to “encourage global solidarity” on COVID-19 and handle “mis/disinformation” concerning the virus.
The WHO has been sharply criticised for the size of time it took to declare a world emergency.
The United States, which accused it of being too near China, formally started its withdrawal from the organisation in July.
The company has additionally been criticised for suggestions deemed to be late or contradictory, specifically on sporting masks, or the modes of transmission of the viru