Ebola out­break in West Africa no more a pub­lic health emer­gency

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

The 9th meet­ing of the Emer­gency Com­mit­tee con­vened by the WHO Di­rec­tor-General un­der the In­ter­na­tional Health Reg­u­la­tions (2005) (IHR) re­gard­ing the Ebola virus dis­ease (EVD) out­break in West Africa took place by tele­con­fer­ence on Tues­day, 29 March 2016 .

The Com­mit­tee noted that since its last meet­ing all three coun­tries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have met the cri­te­ria for con­firm­ing in­ter­rup­tion of their orig­i­nal chains of Ebola virus trans­mis­sion. Specif­i­cally, all three coun­tries have now com­pleted the 42 day ob­ser­va­tion pe­riod and ad­di­tional 90 day en­hanced sur­veil­lance pe­riod since their last case that was linked to the orig­i­nal chain of trans­mis­sion twice tested neg­a­tive. Guinea achieved this mile­stone on 27 March 2016.

The Com­mit­tee ob- served that, as ex­pected, new clus­ters of Ebola cases con­tinue to oc­cur due to rein­tro­duc­tions of virus as it is cleared from the sur­vivor pop­u­la­tion, though at de­creas­ing fre­quency. Twelve such clus­ters have been de­tected to date, the most re­cent of which was re­ported on 17 March 2016 in Guinea and is on­go­ing. The Com­mit­tee was im­pressed that to date all of these clus­ters have been de­tected and re­sponded to rapidly, lim­it­ing trans­mis­sion to at most two gen­er­a­tions of cases in the 11 clus­ters which have now been stopped.

Ac­cord­ingly, in the Com­mit­tee’s view the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer con­sti­tutes a Pub­lic Health Emer­gency of In­ter­na­tional Con­cern ( PHEIC ) and the Tem­po­rary Rec­om­men­da­tions adopted in re­sponse should now be ter­mi­nated. The Com­mit­tee em­pha­sized that there should be no re­stric­tions on travel and trade with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and that any such mea­sures should be lifted im­me­di­ately.

The Di­rec­tor-General ter­mi­nated the Tem­po­rary Rec­om­men­da­tions that she had is­sued in re­la­tion to this event, sup­ported the pub­lic health ad­vice pro­vided above by the Com­mit­tee, and re­in­forced the im­por­tance of States Par­ties im­me­di­ately lift­ing any re­stric­tions on travel and trade with these coun­tries.

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