“Governments should focus on tackling the virus and avoid politicization,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference from Geneva. “No matter where they are in relation to the Covid-19 epidemic, they (governments) should continue to invest in the health system and the workforce and improve the detection, location and treatment of all cases, ”he added.
For the head of the UN agency, “the take-home message is that it is important for governments and citizens to continue to focus on breaking the chains of transmission.”
For their part, the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulations also urged countries to avoid the politicization of the response to the pandemic, seen as a major obstacle to global efforts.
The WHO’s doubts about the so-called collective immunity strategy
As the spread of Covid-19 accelerates, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee has therefore urged to focus on measures that work. These independent experts met on October 29 to review the situation and progress on the temporary recommendations.
For this committee, the pandemic continues to be a public health emergency of international concern and called for a focus on response efforts based on lessons learned and solid scientific evidence.
The committee provided concrete and focused advice that WHO and countries can focus on in the coming months. He stressed the importance of consistent, evidence-based and risk-based measures with respect to international trafficking, surveillance and contract tracing efforts, maintenance of essential health services, including services mental health, and preparing plans for future Covid-19 vaccines.
In addition, Dr. Tedros reiterated his doubts about the so-called “collective immunity” strategy. For the head of the UN’s global health agency, such immunity is only possible with safe and effective vaccines that are distributed fairly around the world.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel” – Dr Tedros
“Until we have a vaccine, governments and health authorities must do everything in their power to suppress transmission,” he insisted.
According to the WHO, this is “the best way to prevent the long-term consequences of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus”. He thus warned about these countries tempted to take another path.
“It also reinforces the morally inadmissible and unworkable nature of the so-called collective natural immunity strategy,” argued Dr Tedros. Otherwise, it would lead to “millions more unnecessary deaths, but it would also put a significant number of people on a long road to full recovery.”
Despite these warnings, the head of the WHO was optimistic. “And there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “In addition to rapid tests and dexamethasone, several vaccines are currently in the final phase of the third phase trials”, detailed Dr Tedros to justify this hope.
WHO experts meet with Chinese counterparts
Just as it looks to the future with hope, the WHO also continues to work to establish the origins of the virus in order to prevent future outbreaks. In this context, a group of WHO experts held a virtual meeting with its Chinese counterparts on Friday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
“WHO continues to work to establish the origins of the virus in order to prevent future epidemics. Today, a group of international experts held their first virtual meeting with their Chinese counterparts, “recalled Dr Tedros, who joined them” to thank them and offer their support to ensure success. of their ongoing research ”.
“In terms of the long-term effects of Covid-19, breaking the chains of transmission and establishing the origins of the virus, WHO will continue to work in partnership around the world to promote science, solutions and solidarity ”, he argued.
Covid-19 and the long-term sequelae
In addition, the long-term effects of the infection were discussed during the press briefing. Almost eleven months after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, doctors and experts are wondering about the consequences of the coronavirus on the health of patients. “Over the past few months, I have heard directly from people facing the medium and long-term effects of Covid-19 infection,” said Dr Tedros.
What is really concerning, “is the wide range of symptoms which fluctuate over time, often overlap and can affect any system in the body.” “From fatigue, coughing and shortness of breath, to inflammation and damage to major organs – including the lungs and heart. And even neurological and psychological effects ”, noted the head of the WHO.
Although the world and the WHO are still learning about the virus, “what is clear is that it is not just a virus that is killing people”. “For a significant number of people, this virus presents a series of serious long-term effects. Although people recover, it can be slow – sometimes weeks or months – and it’s not always a linear path to recovery, ”he noted.
1.175 million deaths and nearly 45 million infections worldwide
It is common for the disease to leave scars in many patients and this does not only concern those who have been hospitalized.
Although the exact number of people affected in the long term is not yet clear, the WHO estimates that post-Covid19 symptoms and complications have been reported in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. “There have been cases in women and men, young and old. And even in children ”.
In the meantime, the UN agency intends to continue its research in order to establish “the best standards of care to accelerate healing and prevent such complications”. According to the WHO, it is imperative that governments recognize the long-term effects of Covid-19 and also guarantee access to health services to all these patients ”.
The pandemic has killed at least 1.175 million people worldwide since the end of December, for more than 44.59 million confirmed infections. The United States remains the most bereaved country with at least 226,132 deaths and 8.76 million cases, ahead of Brazil (158,456 deaths and 5.4 million cases) and India (121,090 deaths and more than 8 million cases). contaminations).
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