As much of the world continues to look past COVID-19 and move on with industry, socializing, and normal daily life, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has made a damning plea to the governments of the world to bring back some restrictive measures, stating variants of COVID-19 are running rampant and causing unknown amounts of deaths.
The plea comes after the twelfth International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee meeting in which they concluded that COVID-19 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). During the committee meeting, doctors and health officials discussed rising cases, variants of concern, and current measures in place to prevent the situation from spiraling.
Once finished, the committee released a statement stating that COVID-19 continues to present a global health threat and that emerging variants may pose an even greater threat.
“New waves of the virus show that the pandemic is not over. We must push back with safe & effective tools to prevent infections, hospitalizations & deaths,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, in a tweet.
According to the statement, there is a “disconnect in the perception of risk posed by COVID-19 between scientific communities, political leaders and the general public”, and “inadequacies” in community engagement related to safety measures.
The world’s governments must now strengthen their national response to COVID-19 if the threat is be minimalized, according to the Director-General, though this may pose a challenge with current opinions amongst the public. International travel must also be more thoroughly vetted, vaccination targets must be met for each nation, and testing should be resumed in nations that have slowed their testing programs.