Backsliding on COVID Data is a Global Health Threat

In Global Featured, News by Brian Shepherd

AIDS Healthcare Foundation is alarmed by the decline in reporting of COVID-19 epidemiological data by countries to the World Health Organization (WHO) and calls on the United Nations Member States to take a tougher stance on availability, transparency, and accountability of vital public health statistics.

According to Health Policy Watch, of the 243 WHO member states and territories, only 54 are still regularly reporting COVID-19 deaths, and just 20 countries submit data on patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) and hospitalization numbers. The decline in reporting comes at a time when there are still 1.4 million COVID-19 cases monthly and 2,300 deaths.

“Without timely and reliable data, we could be flying blind into a new, deadly strain of COVID-19, and we wouldn’t even know it. Parties involved in negotiating the Global Public Health Agreement must exert maximum effort to ensure data sharing and transparency become a fundamental part of the new pandemic accord,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “This is not a new problem. The global response to HIV has long been hampered by poor data reporting. To prevent and effectively fight pandemics and outbreaks, frontline responders must have reliable and timely data – it is of utmost importance to global public health security.”

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