Geneva (AFP) – The World Health Organization decided on Monday 01/30 to maintain the state of maximum emergency regarding the Covid-19 epidemic, three years after declaring the disease a health emergency of global proportions.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus followed the recommendations of the Emergency Committee on COVID-19, a committee of experts that met Friday for the 14th time, according to a statement.
On January 30, 2020, the committee declared that Covid-19 constitutes a “public health emergency on an international scale,” while at that time, less than a hundred cases were recorded outside China, without any deaths.
Tedros had previously confirmed that the abolition of the maximum state of emergency was “premature”.
He said Monday during a regular press conference in Geneva, “Although I do not want to pre-empt the opinion of the emergency committee, I remain very concerned about the situation in several countries and the increasing number of deaths.”
“My message is clear: do not underestimate this virus, it has surprised us and will continue to surprise us and will continue to kill us, unless we do more to provide health facilities to those in need and to combat disinformation globally,” he added. The Director-General of the UN organization has the power to choose whether or not to follow the recommendation of the Emergency Committee.
The health emergency with a complex name failed to convince the authorities and the public of the seriousness of the situation in January 2020, which allowed the use of the term “pandemic” on March 11 by the head of the World Health Organization.
After three years, the Committee considers that “the COVID-19 pandemic may have reached a transitional phase” and the Director-General said he appreciates “the Committee’s recommendations to move cautiously through this transitional phase and mitigate potential negative consequences.”
170 thousand deaths
On Friday, the Director-General of the World Health Organization indicated, in his opening speech at the beginning of the meeting, that “since the beginning of December, the number of deaths recorded per week in the world has increased.”
He added, “The lifting of restrictions in China also led to an increase in the number of deaths in the world’s most populous country” during the week from January 16 to January 22, explaining that among the nearly 40,000 deaths due to Covid reported by the World Health Organization, “were recorded More than half of them are in China.
The epidemic has killed 170,000 people in the past two months.
Tedros lamented that there were only a small number of people who had received the vaccine correctly and that the surveillance and genetic sequencing that allowed tracking the evolution and transmission of the virus had declined sharply.
The virus caused the death of 6,804,491 people and infected more than 752 million people as of January 27, according to the organization, but the UN agency and experts consider that the numbers are actually much higher.