WHO extends state of emergency over coronavirus pandemic

By Ramon Monsalve, Jr.

August 2, 2020, 2:19 pm

GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has extended its emergency of international concern over the coronavirus pandemic for another three months, the WHO Emergency Committee said Saturday, following its meeting on July 31 that took place in Geneva.

It is underlined that the committee "unanimously agreed that the pandemic still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern."

The recommendation of the committee was offered to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who agreed with it.

In light of this, the committee "will be reconvened within three months, at the discretion of the Director-General," the statement reads.

Speaking at the meeting, the WHO chief highlighted that this pandemic "is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come."

According to him, "many countries that believed they were past the worst are now grappling with new outbreaks. Some that were less affected in the earliest weeks are now seeing escalating numbers of cases and deaths. And some that had large outbreaks have brought them under control."

The committee recommended that the WHO "continue to mobilize global and regional multilateral organizations and partners for COVID-19 preparedness and response, to support Member States in maintaining health services, while accelerating the research and eventual access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines."

This was the fourth meeting of the WHO Emergency Committee of 18 experts and 13 consultants.

It aims to assess the current state of affairs in the fight against the pandemic and devise recommendations to efficiently counter the spread of the virus.

The three previous meetings took place in January and April.

On January 30, Dr. Tedros imposed a state of emergency in public healthcare over the coronavirus pandemic. (TASS)