The WHO DG said some of these countries have much less access to diagnostics, making the outbreak harder to track, and harder to stop. “The WHO is validating, procuring, and shipping tests to multiple countries and will continue to provide support for expanded access to effective diagnostics,” he said.
Tedros further said one of the most powerful tools against monkeypox is information. The more information people at risk of monkeypox have, he said, the more they are able to protect themselves.
“That’s why WHO is continuing to work with patients and community advocates to develop and deliver information tailored to the affected communities, and more likely to be accepted and implemented,” the WHO chief said.
Tedros further said that tomorrow, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee will reconvene to review the latest data and to consider whether the monkeypox outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
“That could be a new version of the variants we already know, or something completely new. We know that for any future variant to become widespread, it must be more transmissible than previous variants. But we can’t know how deadly it will be,” he said.
Tedros said all countries must be ready. “Countries that have dismantled some parts of their pandemic response systems are taking a huge risk,” he said.