The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency.
The announcement was made by WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Friday, a day after the WHO emergency committee convened and made the suggestion.
“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,” Ghebreyesus said Friday. “It is therefore with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency.”
The director general said, however, countries should not view this deceleration as a call to stop its efforts toward fighting the disease. Instead, there should be a “transition” to manage COVID-19 as other infectious diseases are managed.
“Last week, COVID-19 claimed a life every three minutes – and that’s just the deaths we know about,” Ghebreyesus said. “As we speak, thousands of people around the world are fighting for their lives in intensive care units and millions more continue to live with the debilitating effects of post-COVID-19 condition.”
Ghebreyesus also said if COVID-19 becomes a larger threat in the future, the WHO would again form an emergency committee.
“COVID-19 has left – and continues to leave – deep scars on our world,” Ghebreyesus said. “Those scars must serve as a permanent reminder of the potential for new viruses to emerge, with devastating consequences. As a global community, the suffering we have endured, the painful lessons we have learned, the investments we have made and the capacities we have built must not go to waste.”
The U.S. will officially end its COVID-19 emergency Thursday, May 11.
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