Updated: Sat, 23 Jul 2022 08:15 PM IST
World Health Organsiation on Saturday declared Monkeypox a global health emergency amid the rising number of cases of the disease. Around 16, 000 cases of the disease have been confirmed across the globe and nearly 60 countries have reported the case of Monkeypox. The deadly virus is transmitted from person to person through close contact with body fluid, lesions, and respiratory droplets. As per WHO, the disease is also spread by using contaminated material such as bedding.
"For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global #monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern," said Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
On Thursday, the Monkeypox experts have been discussing whether the World Health Organization should classify the outbreak as a global health. The group of experts generally provides advice and suggestion to the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is the one that takes the final call.
In the past, Tedros has always gone with the committee's recommendation, but the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was seriously considering declaring the agency's highest level of alert despite the lack of a majority opinion due to his concern about the urgency of the situation.
"WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where we assess the risk as high," Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
"There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment. So in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations.. For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern," he added.
So far five deaths have been reported in Africa due to the disease.
(With agency inputs)