“The outbreak still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC),” agreed at the fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee on COVID-19, convened by the WHO Director-General.
In its statement following the meeting, it highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak was declared as a PHEIC –WHO’s highest level of alarm under the International Health Regulations (IHR).
In this context, the representatives of the Committee urge the continuation of sustained community, national, regional, and global pandemic response efforts. The Committee offered appropriate advice to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
The WHO made recommendations, including: to continue to mobilize global and regional multilateral organizations and partners, to support Member States in maintaining health services, while accelerating the research and eventual access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
The Committee advised countries to support these research efforts, including through funding, and to join in efforts to allow equitable allocation of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines by engaging in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator among other initiatives.
As noted earlier, even those countries that reported no cases of COVID are advised to take maximum measures to strengthen public health surveillance, including sanitary and epidemiological surveillance, and to maintain essential health services to the population on continuous basis.
Countries were advised to implement proportionate measures and advice on travel, based on risk assessments, and to review these measures regularly.
Today, the spread of the coronavirus in the world is still alarming, and preventive measures are considered as the most effective activities of pandemic response. Noting that the disease can spread in various ways, WHO reminds not only the state, but also the personal responsibility of each citizen for the health of others.
The easiest way to contribute to the fight against the pandemic is to wear masks in public places, follow the hand hygiene rules, disinfect premises with detergent agents and, of course, limit social contacts – stay home if possible.