Coronavirus: WHO predicts a ‘very long’ pandemic – World

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The World Health Organization, meeting today in Geneva, warned that the coronavirus pandemic would probably be “very long”, the Athens Agency notes.

The organization’s Emergency Committee, which is meeting for the fourth time since Friday to reassess the pandemic, “stressed that its duration will definitely be very long,” the WHO said in a statement.

“The WHO continues to assess that the risk posed by Covid-19 is very high,” the statement added. The “Emergency Committee” (consisting of 18 members and 12 advisers) “stressed the importance of a national, regional and global response” to the pandemic.

The coronavirus has infected at least 17.6 million people worldwide and caused more than 680,000 deaths, according to the French agency, based on data from official sources.

The commission asked the WHO to give all countries realistic guidance on how to respond to the pandemic, “in order to reduce the risk of epidemic responses weakening, in a context of socio-economic pressures”.

The Committee also recommends that the WHO expedite investigations into areas that remain unknown to the virus, in particular its animal origin and possible ways of its spread through animals.

It also calls for clarification on points such as “modes of transmission (of the virus), possible mutations, immunity and correlations of protection”.

The committee meeting, which lasted six hours, took place at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, with some participants taking part via video link. It is expected to meet again in three months.

“This pandemic is a health crisis that we see once in a hundred years and its effects will be felt in the coming decades,” WHO Director-General Andrew Gembreses said yesterday.

“Many scientific questions have been answered, many are still waiting to be answered,” he added. “Most people on Earth can become infected, even those who do not live in hard-hit areas.”

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