The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization has said COVID-19 is no longer a global public health emergency.
The global health body, about six weeks before describing it as a pandemic, had declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020.
During that time, there were more than 10,000 cases of the virus, most of them in China.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General at a news conference in Abuja on Friday, said Committee reached the decision on Thursday at its 15th meeting on the pandemic, adding that the committee’s resolution that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
“For more than a year the pandemic has been on a downward trend”.
“This trend has allowed most countries to return to life as we knew it before Covid-19. 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,” Tedros said.
On Friday, the World Health body in a statement said: “WHO declares a PHEIC when an emergency is ‘serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected’, with implications for health beyond the affected state’s national borders – and the status helps trigger a set of measures and legally binding obligations that facilitate a coordinated international response.”
“Lack of PHEIC status does not mean COVID-19 is no longer a pandemic: the DG noted that this news does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat.
“Several PHEICs have not been related to pandemics, and several sustained epidemics or ‘pandemics’ have not been assigned PHEIC status.”
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