World Health Organization says Covid-19 no longer a global emergency

World Health Organization
World Health Organization(MGN, WHO)
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 8:50 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -The World Health Organization says Covid-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency.

However, WHO said that even though the emergency phase was over, the pandemic hasn’t come to an end. Recent spikes in cases in Southeast Asia and the Middle East have raised concerns. The United Nations health agency says that thousands of people are still dying from the virus every week.

“It’s with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.”That does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat,” he said, adding he wouldn’t hesitate to reconvene experts to reassess the situation should COVID-19 “put our world in peril.”

Tedros said the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year, acknowledging that most countries have already returned to life before COVID-19. He bemoaned the damage that COVID-19 had done to the global community, saying the virus had shattered businesses and plunged millions into poverty.

“COVID has changed our world and it has changed us,” he said, warning that the risk of new variants still remained.

The U.N. health agency first declared coronavirus to be an international crisis on January 30, 2020. At that point, it still wasn’t called Covid-19. There were no major outbreaks beyond China.

Since that time, the virus has caused an estimated 764 million cases globally and about 5 billion people have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

The public health emergency declaration on Covid-19 in the United States is set to expire on May 11. That is when wide-ranging measures to support the pandemic response, including vaccine mandates, will end.