The fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director General of WHO regarding Coronovirus disease (COVID-19) under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) was held on Friday 31 July 2020 from 12:00 to 17:45 in Geneva time (CEST). ).
Emergency committee members and advisors were called by video conference.
The Director General welcomed the committee, highlighting progress in the global understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus since the announcement of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and outlined the key areas where further attention Given. Emergency committees are needed.
Representatives of the Legal Department and Compliance Department, Risk Management and Ethics (CRE) briefed members about their roles and responsibilities. The Ethics Officer of CRE announced the process of interest to the members and advisors with the announcement of WHO. Members and consultants were made aware of their personal responsibility, from time to time, to disclose any interests of a personal, professional, financial, intellectual or commercial nature that may give rise to perceived or direct conflicts of interest. He was reminded of his duty to maintain the confidentiality of the discussion of the meeting and the work of the committee. Each member present was surveyed and no conflicts of interest were identified.
The Secretariat handed over the meeting to Professor Didier Houssin. Professor Horsin also welcomed the committee and reviewed the objectives and agenda of the meeting.
The Regional Emergency Director of the WHO and the Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergency Program (WHE) reviewed the regional and global situation. WHO continues to assess the global risk level of COVID-19 very high. Dr. David Heyman, president of the WHE Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH), presented on national best practices and global COVID-19 experiences. Dr. Johanna Jordan presented an overview of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART) report and public health-focused recommendations.
The committee expressed appreciation for the COVID-19 epidemic response efforts of WHO and partners. The committee noted progress on the provisional recommendations issued on 1 May 2020 and examined additional areas that needed further attention. The committee highlighted the anticipated long duration of this COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the importance of sustained community, national, regional and global response efforts.
The committee encouraged all individuals, especially young people and communities, to play an active role in preventing and controlling the transmission of COVID-19. The committee considered that state parties should enable and support communities and individuals and thus build confidence in the response measures of governments.
Following the ensuing discussion, the committee unanimously agreed that the epidemic still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and advises the Director General.
The Director General announced that the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to constitute PHEIC. He accepted the committee's advice to the WHO and issued the committee's advice in the form of provisional recommendations to the committee of states under the IHR (2005).
At the discretion of the Director-General, the Emergency Committee will be reconstituted within three months. The Director General thanked the Committee for its work.
Advice to WHO Secretariat
- Continue to coordinate and mobilize global and regional multilateral organizations, partners, and networks to reinforce the strong political commitment and COVID-19 epidemiological preparedness and response, including the development of vaccines and therapeutics.
- Provide granular, practical guidance on criteria for appropriate COVID-19 response activities to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures.
- Continue to support state parties and partners in the conduct of active and community-based COVID-19 surveillance, through technical and operational resources, such as guidance, equipment and training case definitions and identification, contact tracing, and death certificates; Encouraging state parties to continue reporting relevant data to WHO through platforms such as Global Influenza and Surveillance Response Systems.
- Remaining SARS-CoV-2 significantly unknowns, such as accelerating research into animal sources and potential animal reservoirs, and improving understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19 (including its long-term health effects), methods of transmission such as viral dynamics . , Shedding, possible mutation; Correlation of immunity and protection; Co-infection; As well as risk factors and weaknesses) and effectiveness of public health measures.
- Continue to work with partners to combat mis / disruptions and infodemics by developing and disseminating clear, consistent messages on the COVID-19 epidemic and its effects; Encourage and support individuals and communities to follow recommended public health and social measures.
- Support equal access through rapid, transparent development of diagnostic, safe and effective medical science and vaccines (includes developing countries) and access to COVID-19 tools (ACT) accelerators; Support all countries to implement necessary clinical trials and prepare them for therapeutic and vaccine rollout.
- Work with partners to modify the WHO's travel health guidance to strengthen evidence-informed measures consistent with the provisions of the IHR (2005) to avoid unnecessary interference with international travel; Continually and regularly share information on travel measures to help the decision-making of States Parties to resume international travel.
- The support of state parties, particularly vulnerable countries, to strengthen their essential health services and supply chains as well as to prepare for and respond to concurrent outbreaks such as seasonal influenza.
Temporary recommendations to state parties
- Share best practice with the WHO including an intra-action review; Apply lessons learned from countries that are successfully opening their societies (including businesses, schools and other services) and reducing the revival of COVID-19.
- Support multilateral regional and global organizations and encourage global solidarity in COVID-19 response.
- Enhancing and maintaining political commitment and leadership to national strategies and local response activities driven by science, data and experience; Engage all areas in addressing the effects of the epidemic.
- Continue to increase capacity for public health monitoring, testing and contact tracing.
- Share timely information and data with the WHO on COVID-19 epidemiology and severity, response measures and concurrent disease outbreaks through platforms such as the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.
- Strengthening community engagement, empowering individuals and building trust by addressing mis / disruptions and providing clear guidance, rationale and resources for public health and social measures to be implemented and implemented.
- COVID-19 Tools (ACT) engage in access to accelerators, participate in relevant tests, and prepare for safe and effective therapeutic and vaccine introduction.
- Implement, regularly update and share information with the WHO regarding appropriate and proportionate travel measures and advice, based on risk assessment; Implement the necessary capabilities, including points of entry, to reduce the potential risks of international transmission of COVID-19 and facilitate international connectivity.
- Maintain essential health services with sufficient funds, supplies and human resources; Design a health system to deal with seasonal influenza, other concurrent disease outbreaks and natural disasters.