However, the Committee emphasized that its concern about the situation had significantly increased. Their concerns centred on the recent sharp rise in cases; systemic weaknesses in infection prevention and control, as well as gaps in critical information; and possible exportation of cases to especially vulnerable countries. The Committee strongly urged WHO and Member States to take immediate steps to:
- improve national policies for infection prevention and control, and implement them in health-care facilities in all countries; this is most urgent for affected countries;
- initiate and accelerate critical investigations, including case-control, serological, environmental, and animal studies, to better understand the epidemiology, especially risk factors and assess the effectiveness of control measures;
- support countries that are particularly vulnerable, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, taking into account the regional challenges; strengthen case and contact identification and management;
- greatly enhance awareness and effective risk communication concerning MERS-CoV to the general public, health professionals, at-risk groups, and policy makers;
- strengthen intersectoral collaboration and information sharing across ministries and with relevant international organizations, especially with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO);
- develop and disseminate advice regarding mass gatherings to prevent further spread of MERS-CoV;
- share information in a timely manner with WHO, in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).