World Health Organization advances research on post COVID-19 condition

Source Al Jazeera

The WHO-led global team this week completed a visit to China where they investigated the origins of COVID-19, including a visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where some have speculated the virus could have originated.

"The mission has achieved a better understanding of the early days of the pandemic, and identified areas for further analysis and research", he added.

Peter Ben Embarek, who led the team of independent experts in its almost month-long visit to Wuhan, where the outbreak first emerged at a seafood market in late 2019, said the team's work had uncovered new information but had not dramatically changed their picture of the outbreak.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says deaths from COVID-19 in Africa have surged by 40% in the last month, pushing Africa's death toll towards 100 000 since the first reported case on the continent on February 14 previous year.

According to Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, the United States, which is the worst affected country in the world, has reported over 27,189,188 cases and 468,103 deaths from the deadly virus.

"These declines appear to be due to countries implementing public health measures more stringently", Tedros said.

Meanwhile, the USA has expressed a desire to scrutinize data used by the World Health Organization team, which concluded that the virus causing COVID-19 did not originate in a laboratory in Wuhan.

Chinese officials and scientists provided their own extensive summaries and analysis of data on the cases, said the World Health Organization team members.

Citing reported symptoms such as neurological and physical illness, Diaz noted that an unspecified number of sufferers had been unable to return to work, once they had recovered from the acute sickness caused by the new coronavirus. "We should all be encouraged, but complacency is as unsafe as the virus itself".

"The U.S. independently examining the WHO's data?"

"This illness affects patients with both severe and mild Covid-19", he said.

Further research is also needed to drill down into how many COVID-19 sufferers who did not require Intensive Care Unit (ICU) treatment still went on to develop the condition. According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the W.H.O. investigators had "heated exchanges" with Chinese officials who refused to share data that could help pinpoint the origins of the pandemic.

"What we don't know is why it's happening, so what is the pathophysiology of this condition, the researchers are really working hard to get to the answers of these questions", Diaz said.

The Pfizer-BioNTech jab was the first to receive WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on December 31, 2020.

Ghebreyesus said how quickly countries could expand vaccine manufacturing and roll-out would determine how soon the pandemic would be over.