Geneva (Debriefer) - No soon end to the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization warned on Saturday, as the pandemic has infected more than 17 million and killed over 650,000 people around the world.
Emergency committee, formed by WHO Director General, appreciated the efforts exerted by WHO and partners to counter Covid-19.
Following its gathering on Friday for the 4th time over the coronavirus crisis, the "committee highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this Covid-19 pandemic," the WHO said in a statement, noting the importance of "sustained community, national, regional and global response efforts."
The committee unanimously agreed that the pandemic still constituted a PHEIC.
"The pandemic is once-in-a-century health crisis, the efforts of which will be felt for decades to come," WHO Director General said Friday after a 6-hour meeting hosted at the WHO's HQ in Geneva.
Countries, which thought they coped with the worst, are now fighting a new spread of the disease, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added.
Some of them, which were less-affected in the first weeks, are now witnessing growing numbers of infections and deaths of the pandemic. Others that saw greater spread have now controlled it, he said.
The committee called on WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on Covid-19 reactions to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures. It also urged the agency to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.
WHO needs to accelerate research into the remaining critical unknowns of the virus, such as the animal source and potential animal reservoirs, the panel added.
It advised countries to support these research efforts, including funding and joining the efforts to allow for funds enough for diagnosis, medication and vaccines in order to control the virus.
The committee called for improved understanding of the epidemiology and severity of Covid-19, including its long-term health effects.
It asked for more light be shed on the dynamics of the infection, such as modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations, immunity and correlates of protection.