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The covid virus continues to circulate

In addition, millions of patients with cancer and chronic diseases have suffered dangerous delays in medical care, and prolonged covid remains without definitive treatment, “which poses a constant threat to survivors”.

This is reported by Global Health Institute of Barcelona (ISGlobal)who has led a study, published in the magazine Naturein which the current state of the pandemic is identified, and 57 recommendations are proposed.

To begin with, the report highlights that SARS-CoV-2, the covid virus, continues to circulate among us, and that although “some governments have turned the page, specific efforts and resources are still necessary to save lives”.

This is one of the six main issues for action identified by a wide group of experts from different disciplines and from more than a hundred countries to recommend actions that end covid-19 as a threat to public health.

The report also points to the fact that the virus continues to accumulate mutations which may enhance their ability to evade prior immunity.

“For this reason, a large number of public health leaders, including the authors of this study, consider that covid remains a dangerous global health threat,” reports ISGlobal, a center driven by the La Caixa Foundation.

He also points out that, despite the remarkable scientific and medical advances, the global response to covid has been seen hindered by political, social and behavioral factors more extensive, such as false information, doubts about vaccines, lack of global coordination and uneven distribution of equipment, vaccines and treatments.

“Each country has responded differently, and often inadequately, which is partly due to a considerable lack of coordination and clear objectives,” he says Jeffrey Lazarushead of the Health Systems Research Group and co-director of the ISGlobal Viral and Bacterial Infections Program, associate professor at the University of Barcelona and coordinator of the study.

The covid virus continues to circulate, how to address the future

To reach a cglobal consensus on how to address these issues in the futureIn the face of a still-circulating covid virus, Lazarus and his colleagues conducted a Delphi study—a well-established research methodology that prompts experts to reach consensus on answers to complex research questions.

one multidisciplinary panel of 386 experts from the academic, health, NGO, governmental and other fields, coming from 112 countries and territoriesparticipated in three structured consultation rounds.

The result is a set of 41 statements i 57 recommendations a six main areas: communication, health systems, vaccination, prevention, treatment and care, and inequalities.

Three of the recommendations with the highest priority were:

1.- Adopt one “whole society” approach that involves multiple disciplines, sectors and actors to avoid fragmentation of efforts

2.- “Whole of Government” Actions (eg inter-ministerial coordination) to identify, review and address the resilience of health systems and make them more responsive to people’s needs.

3.- Keep one “vaccines plus” strategythat combines vaccination against covid-19, other structural and behavioral prevention measures, treatments, and economic support measures.

covid virus is still circulating

World covid map from Johns Hopkins University, dated November 7, 2022

The panelists also gave priority to recommendations to develop technologies (vaccines, therapies and services) that can reach the target populations.

Other recommendations that achieved 99% or greater agreement were: communicate effectively with the public; regain public trust and encourage the community participation in the management of the response to the pandemic.

Only six recommendations had more than 5% disagreement, including those proposing financial incentives to address vaccine hesitancy or a symptom-based approach to diagnosing 19 in settings with little access to testing.

the 57 recommendations are addressed to governments, health systems, industry and other key players.

Lazarus further explains that the study echoes some previous recommendations, such as those of the Independent Group on Pandemic Preparedness and Response and the WHO’s 2022 Plan on Strategic Preparedness.

And what makes this job unique is the large number of experts consultedthe wide geographic representation and the study design, which emphasizes building consensus and identifying areas of disagreement. It may turn out to be one model to define responses to future health emergencies international“.

Finally and according to points Quique Bassatprofessor at ISGlobal, co-author of the study, and member of the University of Barcelona, ​​its results “emphasize health and social policy recommendations that can be implemented in months, not years, to help put an end to this threat to public health”.

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