Health desk- 21 April 2021: The seventh meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) took place on Thursday, 15 April 2021 from 12:00 to 16:30 Geneva time (CEST).
The Secretariat turned the meeting over to the Chair, Professor Didier Houssin. Professor Houssin also expressed concern over the current trends with the COVID-19 pandemic and reviewed the objectives and agenda of the meeting.
The Secretariat presented on the following topics and responded to questions from the Committee.
* Progress made on WHO’s implementation of the 15 January 2021 advice to the Secretariat;
* Recent global and regional epidemiological trends, the tracking, monitoring and assessment process for SARS-CoV-2 variants, updates on the mission to understand SARS-CoV-2 origins, and the actions that WHO is taking to ensure a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
* Global COVID-19 vaccine rollout and equity, the impact of vaccines on asymptotic infection and transmission, and vaccine performance against variants of concern (VOC);
* WHO’s assessment of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern on public health interventions; and
* An overview of WHO actions related to health measures in relation to international traffic.
The Director-General determined that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a PHEIC. He accepted the advice of the Committee to WHO and issued the Committee’s advice to States Parties as Temporary Recommendations under the IHR.
The Emergency Committee will be reconvened within three months or earlier, at the discretion of the Director-General. The Director-General thanked the Committee for its work.