The WHO will publish a plan in February for the transition from the pandemic to the “control phase”

World Health Organization (WHO) publishes a new end of February covid-19 response plan who will pose a transition to the end of which the current management of the disease will end as a pandemicannounced on Monday that the director of sanitary emergencies of the organism, Mike Ryan.

The ultimate goal will be to move to a phase where there is a “continuous control” of the disease, similar to how it is done with other respiratory problems like flu, Ryan said during a technical conference on the pandemic during the WHO’s Executive Committee, which meets this week.

“To end the international state of emergency due to covid in 2022, there are still many things to do, such as. reduces uncontrolled infection, especially in vulnerable populations, and reduce the risk of new variants emerging“, emphasizes the Irish expert.

They also still need rreduces mortality rates (from 1.6% currentlytaking into account the official numbers of infected and deceased people in the world) and “reduce the long-term consequences of the infection,” Ryan said.

Preparing for new pandemics

To do this, “national health strategies need to be optimized,” he added, pointing out that because of the different situations each state experiences (for example, the unequal vaccination rate), “each country must find its own way around the mountain. to go down. “

Ryan stressed the need to examine what level of public health measures social acceptance would have in the future stages to follow, and stressed that the current strategy should also serve as a readiness for future pandemics.

In this sense, the WHO Director of Emergencies emphasized that “the next pandemic will surely be caused by a respiratory agent“, similar to the viruses that cause the flu or the coronaviruses that are behind COVID-19, SARS and other diseases.

Learn to live with covid

Hours before these statements by Ryan, the general manager of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, predicts that covid-19 will not disappear in the short term and the world will continue to live with him, but he assured that “learning to live with this disease does not mean giving it total freedom.”

“We are going to live with covid for the foreseeable future, and we must learn to manage it with ussustainable and integrated systems fight against acute respiratory diseases, “Tedros emphasized at the opening of the WHO Executive Committee, celebrating its 150th session this week.

However, he explained, “learning to live with covid does not mean giving it total freedom, it can not mean that we have the 50,000 current weekly deaths for a disease that is predictable and treatable.

He also asked that “the consequences of the persistent covidwhich is still not fully understood “, referring to the many people who, even after recovering from the disease, present multiple health problems.

The risk of new variants

The head of the WHO said that there are different scenarios for ending the acute phase of the pandemic, but that “it is dangerous to adopt it the omicron variant is the last or that we are already at the end ”.

“In contrast to, conditions are optimal for new varieties to emerge “due to the record numbers of infections, which were the highest in more than two years of the pandemic on January 20, with nearly four million worldwide positives in a single day.

Tedros remembered it the next day January 30 is two years since the WHO declared a state of international emergency by the coronavirus (at that time the disease had not yet been christened as covid-19, while outside China there were less than a hundred cases and no deaths.

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“Two years later, almost 350 million cases and more than 5.5 million deaths have been reported, figures we know are conservative,” stressed the WHO director-general, who warned that 100 cases were currently being confirmed worldwide. every three seconds. and five deaths per minute.

“We understand that everyone is tired of the pandemic, that people are exhausted from movement restrictions, that economies and businesses are suffering, and that many governments are queuing up to try to balance what is effective and what is acceptable to the public. , “Tedros emphasizes.

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