May 8, 2023: On Monday, the World Health Organization stated that the spread of Covid-19 is not a public health emergency worldwide.
“For more than a year, the coronavirus has been on a trend with population immunity surging from vaccination and infection, mortality which came down, and the pressure on health systems which eases,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated at a news conference in Geneva.
“This trend had permitted most countries to come back to life as we can guess before Covid-19,” Tedros stated. “It’s therefore with great hope that I state Covid-19 an international health emergency.”
Nearly 7 million people have passed away from the virus worldwide since the WHO first started the emergency on January 30, 2020, according to the U.N. organization’s official information. Tedros said the actual death toll is at least 20 million.
The WHO’s decision is coming as the U.S. is set to finish its national public health emergency.
Tedros stated there is still a risk that a new variant could emerge and cause one more surge in cases. He warns national governments against dismantling the systems they built to fight the virus.
“This virus is to stay. It’s killing, and it’s still changing,” he said.
But the WHO chief stated that the time come for countries to change from an emergency answer to managing Covid like other infectious diseases.
Covid was initially observed in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 when several patients started to share pneumonia symptoms with unknown causes.
Covid rushed around the globe in early 2020, leading to unprecedented international travel and closures as countries tried which specific the spread the virus.
Covid is devasting the elderly and different vulnerable populations and ravaged hospitals that did not have the bed capacity to manage the sudden increase of suffering and death.
Many national governments are decreasing public life in a desperate effort to stop death, leading to an economic downturn and social disruption, the long-term limits of which likely won’t be fully understood for years.
“Covid-19 has been so much over a health crisis,” Tedros said. “It has affected severe economic upheaval, erasing trillions from GDP, disrupting travel and trade, which shatters firms and plunges millions into poverty,” he stated.
“It has caused a few social upheavals with borders closed, movement restricted, schools closing, and millions of people experiencing loneliness, anxiety and depression,” Tedros stated.