World health Organisation (WHO) has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency.
The organisation proclaimed COVID a public health emergency of international concern on January 20, 2020, the highest level of concern under international law.
WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus stated at a press conference on Friday that the international health regulations emergency committee made the decision at its 15th meeting on Thursday.
The director-general stated that the pandemic has been on a downward trend for more than a year, with increasing population immunity, decreasing mortality, and alleviating pressure on health systems.
“This trend has allowed the majority of countries to return to life as it was prior to the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.
“For the past year, the emergency committee and WHO have been meticulously analysing the data and considering when it would be appropriate to lower the alarm level.
“Yesterday, the emergency committee convened for the fifteenth time and recommended that I declare an end to the international public health emergency. I have adopted this recommendation.
“It is therefore with great hope that I declare COVID-19 to be over as a global health emergency.”
However, Ghebreyesus cautioned that the declaration did not mean that COVID was no longer a hazard to global health, noting that the virus claimed a life every three minutes during the previous week.
“As we speak, thousands of people around the world are fighting for their lives in intensive care units,” he stated.
“Millions more continue to suffer from the debilitating effects of post-COVID-19 condition.
This infection is here to stay. It is still murdering and continuing to evolve. There is still a chance that new variants will emerge and cause new cases and mortality spikes.
“The worst thing a country could do right now would be to use this information as an excuse to relax its defences, dismantle the systems it has built, or convey the message to its citizens that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about.
“This information indicates that it is time for countries to shift from an emergency mode to a mode in which they manage COVID-19 alongside other infectious diseases,”