COVID-19 continues to be a health concern: WHO

Friday April 15, 2022 at 2:56 pm

According to the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported from across the world to it has continued to fall for a third consecutive week. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) experts have also warned that this welcome decrease should only be interpreted with caution as several countries have been changing their testing strategies, which may have led to the identification of fewer cases. Several countries, including India, have also been relaxing public health and social isolation measures against COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO)’s emergency committee on Covid has unanimously affirmed on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, that the virus continues to be a significant public health danger and has also insisted that all the countries of the world must stop dropping their guard.

The World Health Organization (WHO) experts have stressed that the planet is still only in the middle phase of the Pandemic, and thus it is far from being at an end. Didier Houssin said, “Pandemic still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern- the highest level of alert that the WHO can sound. Now is not the time to let our guard down – on the contrary, this is an extremely strong recommendation. The situation is far from over with the COVID-19 Pandemic; the circulation of the virus is still very active, mortality remains high, and the virus is evolving unpredictably. Now is not the time for relaxation on this virus, nor weakness in surveillance, testing, reporting, nor laxity in public and social health measures and no resignation when it comes to vaccination.” He is the Chair of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s emergency committee on Covid-19.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also urged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible, continue wearing masks, particularly in crowded indoor spaces, and ensure good ventilation indoors. He stated, “This virus has become more transmissible, and it remains deadly, especially for the unprotected and unvaccinated who do not have access to health care and antivirals. It is a key tool to reduce morbidity and mortality.” He is the director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

World Health Organization (WHO)’s expert committee has said that the following actions are critical for all countries:

  1. The member nations should try to achieve national COVID-19 vaccination targets in line with global World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations of getting at least 70 percent of their populations of all the countries vaccinated by July 2022.
  2. Countries should also scale up their public health and social measures for fighting the Pandemic quickly in response to changes in the virus and the population immunity.
  3. The member nations should take a risk-based approach to different mass gathering events by continuously evaluating, mitigating, and communicating risks. Recognizing that there may be other drivers and risk tolerance for mass gatherings, it is also critical to consider the epidemiological context (including the then-current prevalence of variants of concern and the intensity of transmission), contact tracing, surveillance, and testing capacity, as well as continuous adherence to public health and social measures while conducting such risk assessment and planning events.
  4. The member nations should also collect and publicly share various indicators to monitor the continuing burden of COVID-19 pandemics, such as any new hospitalizations, new admissions to intensive care units, and related deaths.
  5. Countries should enhance access to healthcare facilities, including through the restoration of various health services at all levels and strengthening different social systems to cope with the impact of the Pandemic, particularly on children and young adults.