According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic will be felt for many years to come.
During its Emergency Committee meeting on Saturday, July 31, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus talked about the virus’s long term effects, as well as the current situation of countries which had already “flattened the curve”.
“The [COVID-19] pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come,” Tedros said.
“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 reviewed information on the outbreak and agreed that it still should be considered a public health emergency on international concern (PHEI). Part of its recommendations to WHO included the continuous sharing of learnings and best practices, the mobilization of multilateral organizations for pandemic preparedness and response, support for state parties and partners’ community-based COVID-19 surveillance, accelerated research into “SARS-CoV2 critical unknowns”, and support for vaccine development, among others.
The WHO received criticism for taking too long to declare the coronavirus disease as an international public health emergency. In April, United States President Donald Trump accused the organization of being “too trusting” of Beijing.
As of August 2, the world currently has a total of around 18 million cases of COVID-19, with more than 689,000 deaths and over 11 million recoveries.