WHO declares end of global COVID-19 public health emergency


COVID-19 is no longer a global public health emergency, the World Health Organization announced on 5 May.

The organization pointed to two factors: lower COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations, and higher levels of immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from vaccination or prior infection. While the pandemic is not over, those trends indicate that it is transition time for more long-term prevention and control of the disease, WHO said in a statement.

“It’s reasonable, it makes sense,” says infectious disease expert Peter Chin-Hong of the University of California, San Francisco, noting that “this follows on the heels of many countries” doing the same thing. Is. The US Public Health Emergency Is Officially Over Expires May 11 ,Sn: 5/4/23,

But, Chin-Hong says, “that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a global health threat.”

around the world, more than 750 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 WHO has been informed by 3 May. And about 7 million people have died from the disease, including more than 1.1 million in the United States alone.

WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern or PHEIC on January 30, 2020. This is the highest level of alarm under international law. Two months later, the organization also SARS-CoV-2 outbreak named pandemicindicating that it was not controllable (Sn: 3/11/20,

These announcements came at a scary and chaotic time: countries instituted lockdown measures to stem the spread of the disease; There were more questions than answers about the deadly disease, and no treatment or vaccine.

The WHO designations prompted nations to work together, collaboratively collecting and sharing COVID-19 data, including confirmed cases, hospital admissions, deaths and research. Since then, tests, vaccines and treatments have been developed. More than 13 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide.

Even as the global public health emergency is coming to an end, WHO noted remaining challenges to getting the disease under control, including global disparities in access to care and vaccines. developing virus and “pandemic fatigue” (Sn: 1/13/23,

What long term management of disease What it will look like remains to be seen; WHO plans to form a committee to investigate that question. The agency will also continue to monitor the disease, but it will be integrated into a system that is used to survey global influenza data.

But the end of PHEIC could also mean that COVID-19 tracking data — already incomplete for a number of reasons including the spread of at-home testing — will decline even more, Chin-Hong says. And researchers may have less funding available, which could slow the development of new vaccines and treatments. “The results are from both a research perspective and a clinical care perspective,” he says.

In a May 5 news conference, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to keep their COVID-19 systems in place and reminded people that SARS-CoV-2 is still dangerous.

“This virus is here to stay,” he said. “It’s still killing, and it’s still changing.”

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