People keeps social distancing as they wait for train at the La Chapelle metro station, on April 24, 2020, on the 39th day of a strict lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo: AFP)
GENEVA, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that the COVID-19 outbreak still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
"Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern," he announced at a virtual press conference from Geneva.
Tedros declared a PHEIC, WHO's highest level of alarm, over the novel coronavirus outbreak on Jan. 30, when there were 82 cases outside China. Later the disease caused by the virus was named COVID-19.
Under the International Health Regulations, the WHO director-general has the authority to determine that an outbreak constitutes a PHEIC when certain conditions are met, and the decision should be reviewed every three months.
"WHO will continue supporting all countries with technical and logistical support, especially those that need it most," Tedros said at the press conference.
"As we have done clearly from the beginning, we will continue to call on countries to implement a comprehensive package of measures to find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact," he added.
The WHO chief also said that in accordance with the International Health Regulations, he will reconvene the COVID-19 emergency committee again in 90 days, or sooner if needed.