IMED 2021: Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO: COVID-19 How Far Have We Come and Where Do We Go?
Chair(s):
Marjorie Pollack
Marjorie Pollack
Affiliations:
Speaker(s):
Maria Van Kerkhove
Maria Van Kerkhove
Affiliations:
IKEEP. Van Kerkhove M. 11/15/21; 346807
Marjorie Pollack
Maria Van Kerkhove
About this activity
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID-19 epidemiological scenarios across countries have been heterogenous, as well as the national strategies adopted to control transmission. The ability of the virus to spread rapidly in certain settings has meant that COVID-19 has overwhelmed even the most resilient health systems. In addition, increasing indirect mortality has been documented worldwide as disruptions to health services associated with the pandemic and response measures have impacted care for other health conditions. There have certainly been well more than the reported 4.8 million deaths. So many of these deaths could have been avoided.
 
Well into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global situation remains very dynamic.  Global trends are driven by many factors, including more transmissible variants, possibly with properties of immune escape; unequal distribution of life saving tools, including COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutic treatments, diagnostic tests, and personal protective equipment, increased social mixing combined with relaxation of public health and social measures designed to limit transmission; and the massive amounts of misinformation. 
The work of the World Health Organization for COVID-19 is guided by our Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, that has been updated and adapted since it was first published on 4 February 2020, just a few days after the Director-General declared that we were facing a public health emergency of international concern. The strategy helps to guide the public health response to COVID-19 at national and subnational levels and provide global strategic priorities in support of this effort. The strategic objectives for COVID-19 continue to be to suppress transmission, reduce exposure, counter misinformation, protect the vulnerable, reduce mortality and morbidity and accelerate equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
  
This talk will cover the global epidemiological situation and the drivers of global trends, the World Health Organization’s comprehensive strategy for coordinated public health action and possible trajectories for the current phase of the pandemic.

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