COVID-19 No Longer A “Global Health Emergency” says WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a “Global Health Emergency”.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in late 2019, the world has witnessed unprecedented disruption to daily life and the global economy. Governments around the world implemented strict lockdown measures, and people adapted to new ways of working, socializing, and accessing essential goods and services.
More than 765 million Covid cases have been confirmed worldwide and it is thought that somewhere between 7 and 20 million deaths can be attributed to the virus in just 3 years.
However, there are indications that the situation is improving. The rollout of vaccination programs has been successful in many countries, with some 13 billion doses having been given out across the globe. Hospitalisations and deaths attributed to the virus have drastically declined too – with the virus’ global death toll peaking at 100,000 per week in January 2021, to around 3,500 in April 2023.
On Friday 5th May, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, met with the global pandemic Emergency Committee and was advised to declare an end to COVID-19 as a “public health emergency of international concern.”
Following this, Dr Tedros announced: “I’ve accepted that advice. It is therefore with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency.”
However, this news does not mean COVID-19 is no longer a threat.
“The worst thing any country can do now is to use this news as a reason to let down its guard, to dismantle the systems it has built, or to send the message to its people that Covid-19 is nothing to worry about,” Dr Tredros added.
Dr Mike Ryan, a member of the WHO’s health emergencies programme added:
“We fully expect that this virus will continue to transmit, and this is the history of pandemics,” he said. “It took decades for the final throes of the pandemic virus of 1918 to disappear.
“In most cases, pandemics truly end when the next pandemic begins.”