Global health remains at risk from COVID 19 Tedros says
The Committee concluded that “there is little doubt” that the virus would continue to be an established pathogen in humans and animals.
Exactly three years ago this week, the world’s public health community declared the presence of COVID-19 a major international health emergency. On January 31, 2019, the 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China.
The world is in better shape now than it was a year ago, when Omicron infection rates skyrocketed, but in the last eight weeks alone, more than 170,000 deaths have been reported worldwide as a result of COVID-19, according to the Director-General of the World Health Organization.
Tedros remarked on the fact that global coronavirus surveillance and genetic sequencing efforts have decreased, making it harder to monitor existing variants and identify novel mutations.
He cautioned that health care facilities continue to face difficulties in treating a large number of patients with COVID-19 and other influenza and respiratory infections due to a lack of resources and high rates of burnout among medical personnel.
The head of the United Nations’ health agency recently reaffirmed the importance of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics in reducing the burden on healthcare systems and professionals around the world, thereby preventing the spread of deadly diseases and saving lives.
Tedros said that the response to COVID-19 remains “hobbled” in too many countries because they lack the resources to distribute these tools to the most vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and healthcare workers.
More than 752.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported to WHO’s Coronavirus dashboard, with an estimated 6.8 million fatalities.
At the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency COVID Committee meeting, it was reported that 13.1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given out so far, with 89% of health care workers and 81% of adults over the age of 60 having finished the primary series.
Members of the committee voiced their concern over the lack of vaccine uptake in low and middle income countries and among the world’s highest risk groups, as well as the unpredictability of emerging variants.
The onset of pandemic exhaustion
They also acknowledged that “pandemic fatigue” and the perception of lower risk “have led to drastically reduced use of public health and social measures, such as masks and social distancing.”
The World Health Organization urged countries to maintain vigilance and keep reporting surveillance and genomic sequencing data.
The most vulnerable communities should be vaccinated and “appropriately targeted” public health and social measures should be implemented where necessary, according to the WHO meeting.
The UN health agency stressed the importance of addressing people’s concerns about COVID-19 if they are to understand and support the need for preventative measures to keep the coronavirus at bay.