China World Technology Medical Equipment Service Group
The guidance is part of WHO's ongoing review of relevant material, in collaboration with a guideline development group of independent international experts. Experts consider the latest available evidence and the changing circumstances of the virus epidemic when developing guidance.
Masks remain key tool in fight against coronavirus
WHO continues to advise the public to use masks in specific situations; given the current global spread of the new coronavirus, this update recommends that masks be used regardless of the local coronavirus epidemic situation.
WHO recommends that the following people wear masks:
People who have recently been exposed to COVID-19;
People who have or suspect they have COVID-19;
People at high risk of severe COVID-19;
and people in crowded, closed or poorly ventilated spaces.
Previously, WHO recommendations were based on the epidemiological situation of the new coronavirus.
Similar to previous recommendations, WHO recommends that, in other settings, face masks may be worn based on risk assessment. Factors to consider include local epidemiological trends and rising hospitalization rates, vaccination coverage and immunity levels in the community, and the environment in which people live.
Shorten quarantine time for COVID-19 patients
WHO recommends that patients with COVID-19 can be released from isolation early if they test negative in a rapid antigen test.
For symptomatic patients, in the absence of testing, the new guidelines recommend isolation for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. Previously, the WHO's recommendation was that isolation could be lifted 10 days after the onset of symptoms, plus a further 3 days after symptoms disappeared.
For patients who test positive but do not have any abnormal signs or symptoms, WHO now recommends five days of isolation without testing, up from the previous recommendation of 10 days.
Isolating a COVID-19 patient is an important step in preventing others from becoming infected. Isolation can be done at home or in a specialized facility such as a hospital or clinic.
Evidence considered by the guideline development group suggests that asymptomatic people are much less likely to transmit the virus than symptomatic people. Although very unlikely, there is also evidence that patients who are discharged on day 5 after the onset of symptoms are at three times the risk of infecting others compared to patients who are discharged on day 10.
Review of COVID-19 treatments
WHO continues to strongly recommend the use of Naimatevir-ritonavir (brand name "Paxlovid").
Pregnant or breastfeeding women with non-severe COVID-19 should consult with their doctors to determine if they should take the drug, as there is a "likely benefit" and no adverse events have been reported.
In April 2022, the World Health Organization recommended Naimatevir tablets-ritonavir for the first time. WHO strongly recommends the drug be used in patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of hospitalization. In December 2022, the first generic manufacturer of the drug will be prequalified by WHO.
WHO has also reviewed the treatment evidence for two other drugs, sotovelumab and cabirimumab-idevumab, and continues to strongly advise against their use to treat COVID-19. These monoclonal antibody drugs lack or have weakened activity against the currently circulating virus variants.
At present, there are 6 proven effective treatment options for patients with new crowns, 3 of which can prevent high-risk people from being hospitalized, and 3 can save the lives of severe or critically ill patients. Globally, the availability of drugs other than corticosteroids remains suboptimal.
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