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World Health Organization releases new guidance for outdoor events and mass gatherings

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  • As leading countries move towards establishing normalcy, World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidelines on mass gathering amid the pandemic.

The World Health Organization on Saturday released new guidance for mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic, recommending a number of possible changes to large events — once they’re allowed to take place.

The new guidelines, which include suggestions such as holding gathering outside, inviting only healthy people, etc, recommend changes to large events and encourage people to do a ‘risk assessment’ before organizing events. This comes as the coronavirus pandemic has infected a total of 6,063,588 and killed 369244 people across the world, as per the latest data by John Hopkins University.

“Since mass gatherings have substantial political, cultural, social, and economic implications, authorities should assess the importance and necessity of an event and consider the option that it may take place, provided all associated public health risks are adequately addressed and mitigated,”

the guidance said.

Risk assessment

The Geneva-based organisation also called on public health organisations and event organizers to perform a risk assessment before holding a mass gathering. According to WHO, people should identify the risk that “enhance, prevent, degrade or delay” mass gatherings. In addition, the WHO also listed steps, the organizers could take if large events took place. The steps included staggering arrivals, increasing the frequency of transport and designating seatings. In addition to that, WHO advised event organisers to adjust the capacity of the venue and to hold events virtually or outdoors.

Some recommendations focused on participants, reminding people to observe physical distancing, cough etiquette and hand hygiene practices.

People at risk of developing severe illness – including those over the age of 65 or with pre-existing medical conditions – could be advised to stay away, or special arrangements could be made for them.

The WHO recommendations included a number of other measures as well, such as limiting the duration of events and providing on-site isolation facilities for people who become sick. The document can be found here

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