GENEVA, October 8. /TASS/. The end of the novel coronavirus pandemic is "in sight," but the World Health Organization (WHO) has no mechanism for announcing its end, according to the WHO.
When asked by a TASS correspondent about when the end of the pandemic may be formally announced, given the current decline in case incidence and mortality, the organization gave no exact timeframes.
"We can end it [the pandemic] together, but only if all countries, manufacturers, communities and individuals step up and seize this opportunity," the WHO said.
"WHO does not have a mechanism for declaring or ending a "pandemic," but it does have a system to raise the alarm when there is a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)," it said. "A PHEIC, WHO’s highest level of alarm, is raised when a public health event meets certain criteria; this determination is linked to specific actions that countries can take to reduce the international spread."
According to the International Health Regulations (IHR), the WHO director-general is required to seek the advice of an Emergency Committee (EC) to determine whether an event still constitutes a PHEIC or not. The practice has been that a PHEIC was terminated when the criteria that led to its initial determination are no longer met.
The Emergency Committee for COVID-19 is meeting every three months, and its next session is due in October 2022. During the session, the committee will review progress made in implementing the Temporary Recommendations and assess if the criteria for a PHEIC are still met.
As of October 7, the WHO has been informed about 617,597,680 COVID-19 cases and 6,532,705 COVID-19 related deaths registered worldwide since the start of the pandemic.