Share article:
Share article:

Effects of the pandemic will be felt for decades, says WHO


The effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be felt for decades after it has ended, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

“The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come,” Dr. Tedros said at the start of the at the fourth meeting of the WHO’s Emergency Committee.

“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, made up of about 20 members and advisers, evaluates the state of the pandemic. It can propose new recommendations or amend existing ones. At the meeting, the Committee unanimously agreed that the outbreak still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

The committee also advised countries to strengthen public health surveillance for case identification and contact tracing, including in low-resource, vulnerable, or high-risk settings and to maintain essential health services with sufficient funding, supplies, and human resources.

Countries were advised to implement proportionate measures and advice on travel, based on risk assessments, and to review these measures regularly.

Six months into the pandemic, the virus has claimed the lives of over 660,000 persons, while 17 million people worldwide have been infected.

When the WHO issued its global warning against COVID-19 on 30 January, there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside China.

The WHO was sharply criticized for declaring the state of emergency whereas the virus had been detected for the first time since late December in China.

The WHO Director-General has referred to the crucial Emergency Committee’s meeting on 22 – 23 January at previous press conferences when he replied to some of the criticism and defended WHO’s performance.

The United States, which accused the WHO of being a “puppet” of China and even of being “bought” by Beijing, officially began withdrawing from the organization in July.

The WHO was also criticized for recommendations judged too late or contradictory, mainly on wearing face masks or ways in which the virus is transmitted.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...