The COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a global health emergency, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Friday.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said the decision to end the declaration of a public health emergency of international concern comes after a recommendation from the organization’s emergency committee.
“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. I have accepted that advice,” he said.
“It is therefore with great hope that I declare #COVID19 over as a global health emergency. However, that does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat. Last week, COVID-19 claimed a life every three minutes – and that’s just the deaths we know about.”
Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, added that “the global public health emergency has ended” but noted there’s “still a public health threat out there.”
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“We fully expect that this virus will to continue to transmit,” Ryan said.
Ryan added: “The battle is not over.”
COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019 before spreading across the world, leading to lockdowns and other public health measures for more than three years.
The WHO first declared COVID a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30, 2020, and officially called it a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
More to come.
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