WHO declares end to COVID global health emergency


GENEVA (AP) The World Health Organization said on Friday that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency, easing once-imaginable lockdowns, upending economies, and slashing what’s happening around the world. It has put a symbolic end to the devastating coronavirus pandemic that has killed a million people upside down.

The announcement, which comes more than three years after the WHO declared the coronavirus a global crisis, will, if not, put an end to a pandemic that has sparked fear, suspicion, frustration and condemnation around the world , offers some relief.

United Nations health officials said the pandemic was not over, even though the emergency phase was over, noting recent increases in cases in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Thousands of people die from the virus every week, and millions suffer long-term debilitation, according to the WHO.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We look forward to declaring COVID-19 a global public health emergency. “It doesn’t mean that COVID-19 is over as a global health threat,” he said, adding that if a new variant “endangers our world,” experts will be asked to assess the situation. He added that he would not hesitate to convene homes again.He pointed out that while the official death toll from COVID-19 is 7 million, the real number is estimated to be at least 20 million.

Tedros said the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year, acknowledging that most countries had already rebounded before COVID-19.

Lamenting the damage COVID-19 has done to the international community, he said the pandemic has ravaged businesses, exacerbated political divisions, spread misinformation and pushed millions into poverty.

The political repercussions in some countries were swift and irreconcilable. Some experts say President Donald Trump’s failures in his administration’s response to the pandemic played a role in his loss of his 2020 re-election bid. The United States experienced the deadliest outbreak in the world, killing more than 1 million people across the country.

Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s Chief of Emergencies, said negotiating a far-reaching pandemic treaty is an important step for heads of state and other leaders to determine how to deal with future health threats. 

Ryan resorted to several scenes witnessed during COVID-19, namely “bartering oxygen cylinders”, struggled to get to the emergency room, and died in a parking lot because he could not be treated. I said never repeat those people who said.

When the United Nations Health Organization first declared the coronavirus a global crisis on January 30, 2020, it still hasn’t called him COVID-19 and there have been no major outbreaks outside of China. was. More than three years later, the virus has caused an estimated 764 million cases worldwide, and nearly 5 billion people have received at least one vaccination.

In the United States, the public health emergency declaration issued in connection with COVID-19 expires on May 11, prompting drastic measures to aid the pandemic response, including mandatory vaccinations. ends. Many other countries, including Germany, France and the UK, have scrapped most of their pandemic control regulations in the past year.

When Tedros declared his COVID-19 an emergency in 2020, he said his biggest fear was that the virus could spread to countries with weak health systems.

In fact, some of the countries with the highest COVID-19 death tolls, such as the US and UK, were previously ranked as best prepared for the pandemic. According to the WHO, Africa accounts for only 3% of all deaths reported worldwide.

WHO doesn’t “declare” pandemics, but first used the term to describe the outbreak in March 2020, when the virus had spread to every continent except Antarctica, long after many other scientists had said a pandemic was already underway.

WHO is the only agency mandated to coordinate the world’s response to acute health threats, but the organization faltered repeatedly as the coronavirus unfolded.

In January 2020, WHO publicly applauded China for its supposed speedy and transparent response, even though recordings of private meetings obtained by The Associated Press showed top officials were frustrated at the country’s lack of cooperation.

WHO also recommended against mask-wearing for the public for months, a mistake many health officials say cost lives.

Numerous scientists also slammed WHO’s reluctance to acknowledge that COVID-19 was frequently spread in the air and by people without symptoms, criticizing the agency’s lack of strong guidance to prevent such exposure. Tedros has been a vocal critic of rich countries stockpiling limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, threatening the world with a “catastrophic moral failure” for failing to share shots with poor countries. I am warning you that we are on the brink.