WHO serves warning over Long-COVID risk management

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the COVID-19 virus is still major concern, even though deaths have dropped by 95% since the start of the year.

It warned that countries would have to learn how to manage its ongoing non-emergency effects, including Long-COVID.

“We’re very encouraged by the sustained decline in reported deaths from Covid-19, which have dropped 95% since the beginning of this year,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“However, some countries are seeing increases, and over the past four weeks, 14,000 people lost their lives to this disease.”

He added that the emergence of the new XBB.1.16 variant illustrates that the virus is still changing, and is still capable of causing new waves of disease and death.

“This virus is here to stay, and all countries will need to learn to manage it alongside other infectious diseases,” he said.

He added that an estimated one in ten infections resulted in Long-COVID, suggesting that hundreds of millions of people would need longer-term care. However, he also stressed that the WHO remained hopeful that it would be able to declare an end to COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern, when its advisory committee convenes next month.