Geneva: The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday (June 29) said that though Monkeypox presently does not amount to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the emergency nature of the event requires intense response efforts. Taking to Twitter, DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote, “While the Emergency Committee didn’t advise that the #monkeypox outbreak represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, they acknowledged the emergency nature of the event requiring intense response efforts.”
“They advised that I should reconvene them quickly based on the evolving situation, which I will do,” he added.
While expressing concerns over the sustained transmission of the virus the DG said that the children and pregnant women are at a high risk of catching the infection.
I am concerned about sustained transmission because it would suggest that the virus is establishing itself and it could move into high-risk groups including children, the immunocompromised and pregnant women, WHO tweeted quoting DG Ghebreyesus.
He further said that Nigeria has been battling a monkeypox outbreak since 2017. The country has reported more cases this year, which could mean it matches or exceeds previous peaks.
Monkeypox has now been identified in more than 50 countries, and the trend is likely to continue.
DG said that the countries should adhere to the guidelines published by WHO to assist public health agencies.
Right now the action WHO would like to see: countries should increase surveillance by boost testing, countries should take a best practice approach to managing the response. WHO has published clinical guidance to assist public health agencies & on the frontlines, WHO tweet read.
Speaking on the R&D front, he said, “WHO has been convening scientists via the R&D blueprint for epidemics to speed up research and development into tests, treatments and vaccines for monkeypox and develop a protocol for therapeutic development and rollout.”
Further, speaking of COVID-19, he said that even relatively ‘mild’ COVID19 cases are disruptive and damaging, thus suggesting the public to strengthen the wall of immunity to lessen the severity of the disease and lower the risk of long- or post-COVID condition.
On the R&D front, he stressed on the need to develop second-generation vaccines that could prevent the spread of the infection.
Building on existing vaccines that limit severity and prevent death, developing second-generation vaccines that stop – or at least lower infection – would be a major step forward, he said.
“On the R&D front, it is critical that there’s funding for second-generation vaccines as well as tests and treatments. While honing vaccines to the evolving virus variants makes sense, I am concerned that the pace of mutation means the world is continuing to play catch up,” he added.
He said that the ideal solution to the disease is the development of a pan-coronavirus vaccine that covers all variants so far and potentially future ones.
WHO continues to convene scientists & researchers; there has been a lot of research into this virus & understanding immunology overall. With WHO’s Solidarity Trials we can also offer global trials of vaccines to establish the safety and efficacy of quickly and effectively, he added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.