The World Health Organisation has declared an end to the global COVID-19 public health emergency, but urged nations not to let their guards down because the disease is still a global health threat.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, said on Friday that he followed the advice of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee and determined that COVID-19 is “now an established and ongoing health issue that no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
He urged, however, that the declaration does not mean that COVID-19 is over as a global health threat.
According to him, thousands of people around the world are still fighting for their lives in intensive care units and millions more continue to live with the debilitating effects of post-COVID-19 condition.
He said just last week COVID-19 worldwide claimed a life every three minutes, noting those represent “just the deaths we know about.”
Tedros said on advice from WHO’s Emergency Committee, he has decided to use a provision in international health regulations that has never been used before to establish a review committee “that will “develop long-term, standing recommendations for countries on how to manage COVID-19 on an ongoing basis.”
The declaration comes after U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan Senate bill in April, weeks before it was due to expire, to end the national emergency to address COVID-19.
May 11 marks the end of a different COVID-19 public health emergency.
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