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Covid-19 remains a public health emergency of international interest: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee for COVID-19 has unanimously agreed that the ongoing global pandemic still poses a public health emergency of international concern. The announcement came after the conclusion of a two-day meeting on Friday, which was convened by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus under International Health Regulations to review the pandemic situation and the progress made on the interim recommendations, the agency reports. Xinhua news.

The pandemic continued to require a coordinated international response, according to the committee.

He provided concrete and targeted advice to WHO and countries to focus on in the coming months, including coherent risk-based measures and informed by international traffic evidence; efforts to monitor and find contacts; maintenance of essential health services, including mental health services; and preparing plans for future Covid-19 vaccines.

The committee also called on countries to avoid politicizing the pandemic response.

“Governments should focus on tackling the virus and avoid politicization,” Tedros told a news conference after the meeting.

He called on countries to continue investing in the health system and workforce, and to improve the testing, tracking and handling of all cases.

Meanwhile, Tedros announced that a group of international experts had their first virtual meeting with their Chinese counterparts as part of the WHO-led international mission in Beijing to identify the zoonotic origin of the new coronavirus, which began last December in Wuhan city.

According to Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergency Program, that virtual meeting helps the international team of experts and their Chinese colleagues get to know each other and share information on what has been achieved so far in identifying of the animal source of Covid- 19

He stressed that scientists need the best answers for the origin, “not just any answer that meets the political needs of speed and investigation”.

Ryan suggested that finding the source of the animals may take quite a while as previous investigations into the MERS and SARS viruses.

The grim announcement comes as the total number of global coronavirus cases has reached 45.4 million, while deaths have risen to 1,187,020, according to Johns Hopkins University.

As of Saturday morning, the total case load and death toll were 45,477,552 and 1,187,023, respectively, the University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US is the country hit with the highest number of cases and deaths in the world at 9,036,678 and 229,594 respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in second in terms of cases at 8,088,851, while the number of deaths in the country rose to 121,090.

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