COVID-19 No Longer a Global Emergency, Still a Global Threat
COVID-19 is no longer a global emergency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said today, May 5. However, the pandemic has not come to an end given the recent spikes in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and it is still to be considered a global health threat.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Friday, May 5, that COVID-19 is no longer a global emergency. He said, “It’s with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency. 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.” Ghebreyesus noted the recent spike in cases in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
A group of officials convened on Thursday to discuss the state of the pandemic and then made the call to downgrade COVID-19.
Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program added that they “fully expect that this virus will continue to transmit.”
COVID-19 was first classified as an international crisis on January 30, 2020. Now, over three years later, there have been around 764 million cases globally and about five billion people have received at least one dose of a vaccine. It has taken the lives of at least seven million people worldwide.
Last year, many countries including Germany, France, and Britain, dropped many of their regulations against the pandemic. In the US, the emergency declaration is set to expire on May 11 and that’s when wide-ranging measures such as vaccine mandates will end.