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We will win this "WAR"

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     At 3:30 am on January 31, Beijing time, the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee decided to confirm the pneumonia outbreak of the new coronavirus as an "public health emergency of international concern" (PHEIC ). At the same time, it is also recommended to temporarily name this pneumonia "2019-nCoV Acute Respiratory Disease".
      WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized: This announcement is not because of the outbreak in China, but WHO has great confidence in China to control the spread of the outbreak; however, PHEIC is announced to protect Other countries, so that they can prevent and control the pneumonia epidemic, especially to protect some countries with weak medical systems.
      At the same time, Tan Desai also announced 7 recommendations: 1. It is not recommended to impose travel and trade restrictions on China, and any measures should be based on evidence; 2. 2. Support and protect countries with relatively fragile health systems; 3. Accelerate scientific research and vaccine-related research; Jointly fight against rumors and false information; 5. 5. States are actively looking for plans to prevent, treat and prevent further spread; Countries actively share information with WHO; 7. All countries work together to fight the virus. Earlier, WHO Director-General Tan Desai flew to Beijing on January 28 to meet with Chinese government leaders; returned to Geneva on the 29th and immediately prepared to reconvene the Emergency Committee meeting to re-determine whether the epidemic was included in the " Public health emergencies of international concern. " This is the sixth "public health emergency of international concern" announced by WHO since the implementation of the International Health Regulations in 2005. The previous 5 cases were influenza A (H1N1) in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, Zika outbreak in 2016, and Ebola in Congo (Kingdom) in 2018. epidemic. Impact of being included in PHEIC on China. At the WHO Emergency Committee meeting from January 22 to 23, participants were divided when discussing whether the outbreak of the new coronavirus had reached PHEIC. However, with the sharp increase in the number of people infected in China in the following week, and confirmed cases in many countries around the world, including Japan, Germany, Vietnam, and the United States, "human-to-human" infections occurred in 4 countries; this Let WHO, in the eighth report on the status of the epidemic, explicitly assess the risk of the Wuhan epidemic as China is a "very high risk" region and has "high risk" risks worldwide.
        According to the definition of the International Health Regulations, PHEIC refers to “unusual” events that “consists of public health risks to other countries through the international spread of disease” and may require a coordinated “international response”.
        Here you can refer to WHO's 6-level warnings for influenza virus transmission. Starting with Level 5 warnings means that a large-scale epidemic is approaching and there is not much time to take measures to respond to the outbreak. The highest level (level 6) refers to the widespread epidemic of the same type of infectious virus in more than one region, which means that it may cause a global epidemic.
        After the pneumonia epidemic is declared PHEIC, the Director-General of WHO and Member States need to take action to respond to the crisis on the recommendation of the Emergency Committee. Under the International Health Regulations, which came into effect in 2005, each member state has a legal responsibility to respond quickly to PHEIC. At the same time, the Director-General of WHO will have the right to issue recommendations to other countries, such as urging them not to close the border when the outbreak occurs, and not to implement control measures such as travel and trade restrictions on the outbreak countries, which will help Open and transparent processing.
         With PHEIC, it will be easier for the parties to obtain external help from other member states, such as mobilizing more countries to jointly develop antiviral drugs. However, in the short term, it will also greatly affect the local tourism and trade related industries. Based on past experience, once it is determined to be PHEIC, multiple assessments will be required afterwards; and cancellation of the emergency may take months, or even more than a year.
        But for the tourism industry, as early as January 24, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China has announced that national travel agencies and online tourism companies will temporarily suspend the operation of team travel and "ticket + hotel" travel products. At the same time, after January 27, all group tour business including the outbound team and "air tickets + hotel" services will be suspended.
         On January 29, United Airlines announced that it would suspend 24 round-trip flights between the US and China in the first week of February. At the same time, it was also reported that the US White House is considering cancelling all flights between China and the United States, but did not make this decision at the White House meeting on the 29th, only that it would follow up on public health data to determine whether to implement the initiative.
        To be clear: the impact of "public health emergencies of international concern" and the recent spread of "endemic countries" and subsequent alarmists are not the same.
        First of all, there is currently no official policy in the official website of the WHO to identify specific countries as “endemic areas”. After the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) in 2005, emergency outbreaks were more targeted at events than countries.
        Of course, prior to the implementation of PHEIC's determination measures, when the SARS virus raged in China in 2003, the WHO listed 10 provinces in mainland China as epidemic areas and issued travel warnings to 6 countries across the world. After the SARS epidemic was brought under control, the WHO lifted the travel warning to Guangdong on May 23, 2003; the travel warning to Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, and Tianjin was lifted on June 13, 2003, and it cooperated with Guangdong and Jilin. , Jiangsu, Hubei, Shaanxi and other places were removed from the list of affected areas; on June 24, 2003, the travel warning to Beijing was lifted and removed from the list of affected areas. Therefore, even when there is no PHEIC definition, the judgment of the affected areas during the SARS period will be updated in real time as the control of the spread of the epidemic changes.
         And in the International Health Regulations (2005), there is an article on PHEIC: "Interim recommendations may include information on personnel, baggage, cargo, containers, vehicles, articles and (Or) the intended sanitary measures to be adopted by the postal package are intended to prevent or reduce the international spread of disease and to avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic. "
         However, the proposal will be revoked at any time according to the epidemic control situation, and should be automatically invalidated three months after its publication. The interim proposal may be modified or extended for another three months. The interim recommendations can last up to the Second World Health Assembly following the identification of public health emergencies of international concern related to them.
        Therefore, if China controls the epidemic after 3 months, the state of PHEIC will be over. Even "long-term recommendations" can be modified and revoked in a timely manner, and there is no so-called "mandatory period."
        Prior to the publication of the International Health Regulations (2005), under 150-year-old legislation, only cholera, plague, and yellow fever were controlled through quarantine and embargoes at the borders of a country. The 2005 regulatory framework is more focused on curbing the epidemic from the source and emphasizing prevention. It requires countries to maintain the necessary "core competencies", such as the ability to diagnose infections and isolate infected patients. At the same time, countries with outbreaks can report not only specific known diseases, but also unusual public health patterns, such as the unexpected increase in patients with severe respiratory symptoms.
      This means that the definition of PHEIC is more linked to the transmitted disease virus than to the outbreak country. Of course, if the epidemic-prone country lacks the ability to control the virus infection and cannot effectively control the spread of the virus, then WHO will provide other countries with corresponding opinions and suggestions on the specific place where the epidemic occurred.