Statement on the fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee referring to the outbreak of coronavirus sickness (COVID-19)

The fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General beneath the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) referring to the coronavirus sickness (COVID-19) handed off on Friday, 31 July 2020 from 12:00 to 17:45
Geneva time (CEST). 

Proceedings of the meeting

Members and advisors of the Emergency Committee had been convened by videoconference.

The Director-General welcomed the Committee, highlighted the advances in world understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus given that declaration of most of the people effectively being emergency of worldwide concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020, and outlined key areas the place
further consideration by the Emergency Committees is required.

Representatives of the approved division and the Department of Compliance, Risk Management, and Ethics (CRE) briefed the members on their roles and duties. The Ethics Officer from CRE provided the members and advisers with an abstract of the
WHO Declaration of Interest course of. The members and advisers had been made acutely aware of their specific individual accountability to talk in confidence to WHO, in a effectively timed technique, any pursuits of a non-public, expert, financial, psychological or industrial nature which can
give rise to a perceived or direct battle of curiosity. They had been furthermore reminded of their accountability to maintain up the confidentiality of the meeting discussions and the work of the committee. Each member who was present was surveyed and no conflicts
of curiosity had been acknowledged.

The Secretariat turned the meeting over to the Chair, Professor Didier Houssin. Professor Houssin moreover welcomed the Committee and reviewed the objectives and agenda of the meeting.  

The WHO Regional Emergency Directors and the Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) provided regional and the worldwide state of affairs overview. WHO continues to guage the worldwide hazard stage of COVID-19 to be very extreme. Dr David Heymann,
chair of the WHE Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH), launched on nationwide biggest practices and world COVID-19 experiences. Dr Johanna Jordaan launched an abstract of the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART)’s report and public effectively being focused ideas. 

The Committee expressed appreciation for WHO and companions’ COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. The Committee well-known progress made on the Temporary Recommendations issued on 1 May 2020 and examined additional areas that require further consideration.
The Committee highlighted the anticipated extended interval of this COVID-19 pandemic, noting the importance of sustained group, nationwide, regional, and world response efforts.  

The Committee impressed all folks, notably youthful people, and communities to proceed to play an vigorous operate in stopping and controlling transmission of COVID-19. The Committee acknowledged that State Parties ought to permit and help communities
and other people and thus assemble perception in governments’ response measures. 

After ensuing dialogue, the Committee unanimously agreed that the pandemic nonetheless constitutes a public effectively being emergency of worldwide concern and provided advice to the Director-General.

The Director-General declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to characterize a PHEIC. He accepted the advice of the Committee to WHO and issued the Committee’s advice to States Parties as Temporary Recommendations beneath the IHR (2005). 

The Emergency Committee is perhaps reconvened inside three months, on the discretion of the Director-General. The Director-General thanked the Committee for its work.

Advice to the WHO Secretariat

  1. Continue to distill and shortly discuss lessons realized and biggest practices from the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide intra-action critiques.
  2. Continue to coordinate and mobilize world and regional multilateral organizations, companions and networks for sturdy political dedication and resourcing of COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response, along with for enchancment of vaccines and therapeutics.
  3. Provide nuanced, pragmatic steering on requirements for acceptable COVID-19 response actions to chop again the prospect of response fatigue throughout the context of socio-economic pressures.
  4. Advertisement
  5. Continue to help State Parties and companions in conducting vigorous and community-based COVID-19 surveillance, via technical and operational sources, akin to steering, devices, and trainings on case definitions and identification, contact tracing,
    and lack of life certifications; encourage State Parties to proceed reporting associated info to WHO via platforms such as a result of the Global Influenza and Surveillance Response System.  
  6. Accelerate evaluation into remaining SARS-CoV-2 important unknowns, such as a result of the animal provide and potential animal reservoirs, and improve understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19 (along with its long-term effectively being outcomes; viral dynamics
    akin to modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations; immunity and correlates of security; co-infection; along with hazard elements and vulnerabilities) and the effectiveness of public effectively being measures.
  7. Continue to work with companions to counter mis/disinformation and infodemics by creating and disseminating clear, tailored messaging on the COVID-19 pandemic and its outcomes; encourage and help folks and communities to adjust to actually helpful
    public effectively being and social measures.
  8. Support diagnostics, safe and environment friendly therapeutics and vaccines’ speedy and clear enchancment (along with in creating worldwide areas) and equitable entry via the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator; help all worldwide areas to implement
    the necessary medical trials and to rearrange for the rollout of therapeutics and vaccines.
  9. Work with companions to revise WHO’s journey effectively being steering to bolster evidence-informed measures in step with the provisions of the IHR (2005) to avoid pointless interference with worldwide journey; proactively and generally share data
    on journey measures to help State Parties’ decision-making for resuming worldwide journey.
  10. Support State Parties, considerably weak worldwide areas, in strengthening their necessary effectively being suppliers and accompanying present chains along with preparing for and responding to concurrent outbreaks, akin to seasonal influenza.

Temporary ideas to State Parties

  1. Share biggest practices, along with from intra-action critiques, with WHO; apply lessons realized from worldwide areas which might be effectively re-opening their societies (along with firms, schools, and totally different suppliers) and mitigating resurgence of COVID-19.
  2. Support multilateral regional and world organizations and encourage world solidarity in COVID-19 response.
  3. Enhance and keep political dedication and administration for nationwide strategies and localized response actions pushed by science, info, and experience; interact all sectors in addressing the impacts of the pandemic.
  4. Continue to spice up functionality for public effectively being surveillance, testing, and name tracing. 
  5. Share effectively timed data and knowledge with WHO on COVID-19 epidemiology and severity, response measures, and on concurrent sickness outbreaks via platforms such as a result of the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.
  6. Strengthen group engagement, empower folks, and assemble perception by addressing mis/disinformation and providing clear steering, rationales, and sources for public effectively being and social measures to be accepted and carried out.  
  7. Engage throughout the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, participate in associated trials, and put collectively for safe and environment friendly therapeutic and vaccine introduction.
  8. Implement, generally exchange, and share data with WHO on acceptable and proportionate journey measures and advice, primarily based totally on hazard assessments; implement compulsory capacities, along with at elements of entry, to mitigate the potential risks of worldwide
    transmission of COVID-19 and to facilitate worldwide contact tracing.
  9. Maintain necessary effectively being suppliers with ample funding, offers, and human sources; put collectively effectively being strategies to cope with seasonal influenza, totally different concurrent sickness outbreaks, and pure disasters.