WHO Lifts COVID-19's Status as a Global Health Emergency


by Omama Anwar

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global public health emergency. This decision was made after a meeting of the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 on May 5th, 2023. 


The WHO first declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, when just 7,818 cases were confirmed and 170 deaths reported globally. Since then, the virus has spread to every corner of the world, infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands. 

The Emergency Committee on COVID-19, made up of experts from around the world, has been meeting regularly since the start of the pandemic to assess the global situation and make recommendations to the WHO. 

In making its latest decision, the committee took into account a range of factors, including the number of cases and deaths, the effectiveness of public health measures, and the availability of vaccines and treatments.

While COVID-19 is no longer a global public health emergency, the WHO stressed that the pandemic is far from over and that countries must continue to take steps to control its spread. The organization called on all countries to maintain surveillance systems, test, trace, isolate cases, and vaccinate their populations as quickly as possible.

"We have made significant progress in the fight against COVID-19, but we cannot let our guard down," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO. "This virus is still a threat to global health, and we must remain vigilant and continue to work together to overcome it."

The WHO's decision to no longer classify COVID-19 as a global public health emergency does not mean the virus is no longer a serious threat to public health. It simply reflects that the world has learned to live with the virus and has developed tools to control its spread. 

However, the organization warned that new variants of the virus could emerge and that the world must remain prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any new threats.