Covid-19 no longer a global health emergency: WHO
Geneva, May 5 (EFE).- Covid-19 is no longer a global health emergency, the World Health Organisation said Friday, more than three years after first declaring a pandemic that brought much of the world to a standstill.
At least 765 million people became infected and some 20 million died because of the coronavirus, which first emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
“Yesterday, the emergency committee met for the 15th time and recommended to me that I declare an end to the public health emergency of international concern,” WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “I’ve accepted that advice.”
“It’s therefore with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency,” he added.
Tedros praised the “incredible skill and selfless dedication of health and care workers”, the innovation and research that resulted in an unprecedented delivery of a vaccine, governments that took difficult decisions to protect vulnerable segments of the population, and regular citizens for their sacrifices in navigating the health emergency that lasted 1,221 days.
But, the director-general said, it was also a time for reflection on the legacy the pandemic has left.
“These scars must serve as a permanent reminder of the potential for new viruses to emerge, with devastating consequences,” Tedros said.
He also warned that lifting the emergency did not mean “Covid-19 is over as a global health threat”.
“It is still killing and it is still changing. The risk remains of new variants emerging that cause new surges in cases and deaths.”
“Last week, Covid-19 claimed a life every three minutes – and that’s just the deaths we know about.” EFE