6 January 2023
PANDEMIC – KEEP UP SURVEILLANCE
“We continue to ask China for more rapid, regular, reliable data on hospitalizations and deaths, as well as more comprehensive real-time viral sequencing,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO on 4 January in his first virtual briefing for the year, reports UN News.
“WHO is concerned about the risk to life in the world’s most populous country and reiterated the importance of stepping up vaccination coverage including booster doses, particularly for vulnerable groups such as older people,” said the WHO Chief.
WHO has held high-level meetings with Chinese health authorities and discussed the situation. Most of the viruses are of two Omicron lineages, BA.5.2 and BF.7, which accounted for 97.5 per cent of all local infections.
“These variants are known and have been circulating in other countries, and at the present time no new variant has been reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC),” the Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) said, reports UN News.
The Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) meets regularly to review the situation on circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and advises WHO to take strategic steps to contain the pandemic. The TAG-VE met on 3 January 2023 to discuss the situation in China.
“We are really concerned about the current COVID-19 epidemiological picture, with both intense transmission in several parts of the world and a recombinant sub-variant spreading quickly. COVID-19 was on the decline for most of 2021,” said the WHO Director-General, in the virtual meeting.
Meanwhile, China defended its handling of Covid – 19 outbreak and China’s foreign ministry spokesperson told the media that the ‘epidemic situation is controllable’ in China now.