H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, and First Deputy Member of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO), took part in a virtual extraordinary meeting of the WHO Executive Council on Monday.
The two-day meeting addressed the latest developments related to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as streamlining global efforts to combat the pandemic, and identifying its main developments and the mechanism for tackling such developments.
H E Dr Sa’eedi delivered a speech during the meeting on behalf of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries, in which he said, “The governments of the Eastern Mediterranean Region countries are working hard to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce health risks and social, economic and political impacts.”
He added, “The countries of the region prepared very early for the pandemic and made remarkable progress in combating it. The number of infections declined after imposing measures that resulted in the successful containment of the virus and a steady decrease in the number of cases. More than 40mn people have been tested in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
”More than 2mn people have recovered from the disease, but some of these countries are currently suffering from an alarming increase in the number of infections,” H E Dr Sa’eedi said.
“The number of new cases in some countries ranged from 1,000 to 3,000 in 24 hours.”
He stressed that healthcare workers should be careful, as they are an important pillar in combating the pandemic, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
H E Dr Sa’eedi noted that research related to obtaining safe and effective vaccines is ongoing. He elaborated that three countries in the region have reached Phase 3 in clinical trials, stressing the need to ensure that the vaccine is distributed in a fair and equitable manner to all health-care workers and to all countries of the region.
The Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response reviewed a report on the experiences gained and lessons learnt from the health response to the pandemic. It also reviewed key recommendations on capacity building to pandemic control, prevention and preparedness at the global level and the importance of reinforcing health emergency programmes.