Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates
Last update: 29 Oct 2021
Confirmed cases :: 245 373 039 [242 348 657 week ago]
Confirmed deaths :: 4 979 421 [4 927 723 week ago]
Vaccine doses administered: 6 838 727 352 [6 655 399 359 week ago]
Statement on the ninth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
26 October 2021 Statement
The ninth meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic took place on Friday 22 October 2021 from 13:00 to 17:05 Geneva time (CEST).
…The Secretariat presented updates on:
global epidemiological context and the factors driving transmission;
anticipated evolution of COVID-19 and forecasted potential future scenarios;
ongoing challenge of global COVID-19 vaccine inequity and projections for increasing COVAX Facility vaccine supply; and
States Parties’ increasing consistency in following recommendations regarding health measures for international traffic.
The Committee discussed key issues including:
SARS-CoV-2 surveillance efforts and challenges;
immunity acquired through natural infection or vaccination and protection offered by both;
the value of intra-action reviews for States Parties to inform and enhance response efforts; and
the importance of maintaining risk-informed and multi-faceted PHSM.
The Committee expressed concerns over the challenges faced by the African Region in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including accessing sufficient vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics, as well as collecting, analysing, and reporting epidemiological and quality laboratory data, including genomic sequencing data, required to monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee urged for adequate resourcing, capacity building, and technical support for the Region and its Member States to strengthen their surveillance and response efforts…
The Committee underlined that, while progress has been made through increased uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, analysis of the present situation and forecasting models indicate that the pandemic is far from finished. The Committee emphasized that there is a critical need for States Parties to continue using all available tools including PHSM, vaccination, diagnostics, therapeutics, and effective communications to control the pandemic and mitigate its negative impacts on health as well as social-economic and educational contexts. In addition, the Committee recognized that the protracted nature of the COVID-19 pandemic poses an additional burden in the context of complex humanitarian emergencies, mass migration, population displacement, and other crises. As such, the Committee suggested States Parties consider revising their preparedness and response plans and assistance policies to account for these interdependencies.
The Committee unanimously agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic still constitutes an extraordinary event that continues to adversely affect the health of populations around the world, poses a risk of international spread and interference with international traffic, and requires a coordinated international response. As such, the Committee concurred that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and offered its advice to the Director-General.
The Director-General determined that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a PHEIC. He accepted the advice of the Committee and issued the Committee’s advice to States Parties as Temporary Recommendations under the IHR.
The Emergency Committee will be reconvened within three months or earlier, at the discretion of the Director-General. The Director-General thanked the Committee for its work…