Expect "Lengthy" Coronavirus Pandemic: WHO
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The World Health Organization on 01 Aug warned the coronavirus pandemic was likely to be "lengthy" after its emergency committee met to evaluate the crisis six months after sounding the international alarm.

The committee "highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic", the WHO said in a statement, and warned of the risk of "response fatigue" given the socio-economic pressures on countries.

The panel gathered on 31 July for the fourth time over the coronavirus crisis, half a year on from its January 30 declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) -- the WHO's highest level of alarm.

"The committee highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic, noting the importance of sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts."

Unsurprisingly, the panel, comprising 18 members and 12 advisers, unanimously agreed that the pandemic still constituted a PHEIC.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 reactions "to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures".

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

The committee also urged the agency to accelerate research into the remaining "critical unknowns" of the virus, such as the animal source and potential animal reservoirs.

It called for improved understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19, including its long-term health effects.

And the committee wanted more light shed on the dynamics of the virus, such as "modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations; immunity and correlates of protection".

Source: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/01-08-2020-covid-19-emergency-committee-highlights-need-for-response-efforts-over-long-term
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