TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

WHO committee won't declare MERS-CoV PHEIC

The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday that its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee unanimously decided not to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern related to the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

The committee made the decision during its third meeting on Wednesday. The committee used current information and a risk-assessment approach to determine that the conditions for a PHEIC have not been met.

Margaret Chan, the director-general of the WHO, convened the teleconference meeting.

The members of the committee reiterated their previous advice for consideration by the WHO and member states emphasizing the importance of strengthening surveillance, continuing to grow awareness and effective risk communication related to MERS-CoV, supporting countries considered to be vulnerable, increasing relevant diagnostic testing capabilities, continuing with investigative work and the timely sharing of information in according with International Health Regulations.

During the informational session, representatives of Saudi Arabia and Qatar also presented information on the recent developments in their countries. Additionally, the committee reviewed an update on epidemiological developments and recent WHO activities related to the coronavirus.