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Epidemiological Update: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - 9 February 2021

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On 31 December 2019, the People’s Republic of China notified a cluster of pneumonia cases with unknown etiology, later identified on 9 January 2020 as a novel coronavirus by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). On 11 February 2020, WHO named the disease “coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) named the virus “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).” On 11 March 2020,
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO Director-General, and on 31 July 2020, the WHO Director-General accepted the advice of the Emergency Committee, declaring that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a PHEIC, and issuing the temporary recommendations to States Parties under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005).

On 9 July 2020, the WHO Director-General announced the launch of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR), which will independently and comprehensively assess the lessons learned from the international health response to COVID19.

The sixth meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) took place on Thursday, 14 January 20213