During the 12th meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is still a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
“The COVID-19 pandemic still meets the criteria of an extraordinary event that continues to adversely impact the health of the world’s population, and that the emergence and international spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants may present an even greater health impact,” reads the statement.
Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have increased cases of COVID-19 by 30 percent, but the lifting of public health and social distancing measures might have contributed, according to the WHO. Moreover, the reductions in testing will negatively impact the quality of surveillance, warned the organization, which emphasized the need to reduce the transmission of the virus as the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unpredictable.
“The Committee highlighted the need for all States Parties to continue to apply public health and social measures proportionate to their epidemiological situation, stressing the continued use of effective, individual-level protective measures to reduce transmissions,” adds the report.
The committee concluded that the pandemic is still a PHEIC due to the increase in cases, the evolution of SARS-CoV-2, the deficient implementation of public health and planning tools to reduce transmission and the disconnect in the perception of the risk posed by COVID-19.
To face the pandemic at its current stage, State Parties were given 11 temporary recommendations that include strengthening their national response to COVID-19 and the achievement of national COVID-19 vaccination targets. Countries are also recommended to make available essential health, social and education services and to continue to adjust international travel-related measures, among other suggestions.
“COVID-19 is nowhere near over. As the virus pushes at us, we must push back. We are in a much better position than at the beginning of the pandemic. Of course, we have made good progress, we have safe and effective tools that prevent infections, hospitalizations and death. However, we should not take them for granted,” said Tedros Adhanom, Director General, WHO.
In Mexico, there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases during the past weeks, as reported by MBN. Mexico’s daily technical report of July 11, 2022, indicates that there are over 6 million active cases and 731,434 suspected cases. Mexico City, the State of Mexico and Nuevo Leon are the states with the highest number of cases.