WHO says that COVID-19 is no longer a threat to world health.
Reuters reported on Friday that the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 6.9 million people, is not a global health emergency. This was a big statement.
The COVID-19 outbreak not only hurt people’s health, especially their mental health, but it also messed up the world economy.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “I declare COVID-19 to be over as a global health emergency with great hope.” Even though the situation was over, COVID was still a threat to health around the world.
“Yesterday, the emergency committee met for the 15th time and told me that I should end the world public health emergency. “I’ve taken your advice,” he said.
In January 2020, WHO’s emergency committee set COVID as its highest level of warning. This helped the international community pay attention to threats to public health and work together more on developing vaccines.
WHO said, “Removing it shows how far the world has come in these areas, but COVID-19 will still be around even though it is no longer an emergency.”
“COVID has changed the world, and it has changed us,” Ghebreyesus said. That’s how things should be. If we go back to the way things were before COVID-19, we won’t have learned from our mistakes and will have let down our children and grandchildren.”
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said, “There is still a public health threat out there, and we all see that every day in the evolution of this virus, its global presence, its continued evolution, and its continued vulnerabilities in our communities, both societal vulnerabilities, age vulnerabilities, protection vulnerabilities, and many other things.”
“So, we’re sure that this virus will keep spreading, but that’s how pandemics have always worked,” said Ryan.
He also said, “Most of the time, pandemics really stop when the next one starts. I know that’s a horrible thought, but that’s how pandemics have happened in the past.”
According to data from the WHO, the number of people dying has gone down from a high of more than 100,000 per week in January 2021 to just over 3,500 during the week of April 24, 2023.
In 2022, President Joe Biden of the United States said, “The pandemic was over.”
Like other countries, the country with the most money started to take COVID off the list of internal emergencies, which meant it would stop paying for vaccines and other benefits.
Other countries also took steps that were similar. Last year, the European Union (EU) said that the pandemic was no longer an emergency.
In December, Matshidiso Moeti, who is in charge of WHO’s work in Africa, said that it was time for COVID to be taken care of regularly across the continent.
When the global health emergency is over, it could also be the end of international coordination and collaboration, including attempts to raise money. It would also change the focus, as most countries have already done since the outbreak started to get better.