The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic will last and predicted a “risk of a fatigue reaction” to the social and economic pressures facing the world’s community in these circumstances.
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The warning was issued following a meeting of the WHO Emergency Committee, which took place six months after the organization declared an international emergency in late January following a new coronavirus outbreak in China.
“The WHO still considers the global risk level of Covid-19 to be very high,” the committee said in a unanimous statement.
The Committee called on the WHO to provide detailed pragmatic guidelines for managing the pandemic “to reduce the risk of a fatigue response to social and economic pressures”.
It has also encouraged the organization to help countries prepare for the introduction of approved drugs and vaccines.
The Committee recommended stepping up research into the “remaining critical unknowns” of the new virus, including the possible association of its origin with animals and whether animals can transmit the virus.
It called for a better understanding of the epidemiology of Covid-19 and the long-term health effects of the disease, and for greater clarity on the dynamics of the virus, such as its transmission pathways, prevalence, possible mutations and immunity.
The Committee has also called on the countries of the world to show solidarity in the event of a pandemic and urged the fight against misleading information about Covid-19.
According to data compiled by the news agency AFP, since the outbreak in China, it has claimed at least 680,000 lives worldwide and the total number of infections has exceeded 17.6 million.
According to WHO chief Tedros Adanom Gebreesus this week, the effects of the pandemic will be felt for a long time. He recalled that only six months ago, when the committee recommended that an international emergency be declared, the disease had not claimed any lives outside China and the number of infections in the rest of the world had not yet reached a hundred.
“This pandemic is a century-long health crisis and its consequences will be felt in the coming decades,” the WHO chief predicted.