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WHO Reminder: The Pandemic is Not Over

July 15, 2022 Leave a comment DRI Admin

A recent meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) raised important concerns about the continuing COVID-19 threat – and how treating it as though it has ended could be setting us all up for bigger problems.

The twelfth meeting of the WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding the pandemic determined that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In particular, the emergence and international spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants may present an even greater global health impact.

Among the meeting’s key points:

  • Steep reductions in testing around the world are resulting in reduced coverage and quality of surveillance
  • The virus continues to evolve through sustained transmission in both human and animal populations
  • COVID-19’s evolution is increasing the probability of new, fitter variants emerging, with different degrees of virulence, transmissibility, and immune escape potential, and
  • Communication with the general public needs to improve – given the public’s perception that the pandemic may be over, the committee acknowledged that risk communication and community engagement efforts should hinge on consistent and synchronized political will, policies, and a concert of community influencers to shift the course of risk perception.

As a resilience professional, it is up to you to continue to communicate the ongoing and evolving risks of the pandemic with your organization and staffers.

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