Pandemic Still Global Health Emergency: WHO

Pandemic Still Global Health Emergency: WHO

May 2, 2020, 7:33 a.m.

The World Health Organization says it still sees the coronavirus pandemic as a global health emergency, and expressed concern about a wider spread in countries with weak health systems.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held a news conference at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on Friday.

He said, "As we have done clearly from the beginning, we will continue to call on countries to implement a comprehensive package of measures to find, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact."

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a "public health emergency of international concern", according to the World Health Oranization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

Tedros made the remarks at a briefing on Friday in Geneva, Switzerland.

"We encourage countries to follow WHO's advice, which we are constantly reviewing and updating as we learn more about the virus, and as we learn more from countries about best practices for responding to it," he added.

The Director-General's remarks come as the number of COVID-19 infections globally have hit 3.2 million globally, with the death toll surpassing 233,000 and more than one million patients recovered, according to the latest statistics released by Johns Hopkins University.

Tedros also announced that the European Union will hold a conference next week to seek funds for research in quest of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"This coming Monday, the EU Commission will host a pledging conference to generate funds for investment in vaccine research," he said.

The WHO declared the pandemic a public health emergency more than three months ago.

Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said cases are increasing in Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and northern Nigeria.

Ryan said it is important for countries beginning to consider easing lockdown measures to be constantly on the lookout for a jump in infections, and ready to put some measures back in place if needed.

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