On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Covid-19 is no longer considered a global public health emergency. The WHO initially issued this declaration over three years ago, on January 30, 2020.
The decision to lift the emergency status was made following a recommendation from the WHO’s emergency committee, which convened for the 15th time on Thursday. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced his acceptance of the recommendation, declaring that Covid-19 is no longer a global health emergency with hope.
The designation of a “public health emergency of international concern” is reserved for the most serious disease outbreaks. Since 2007, the WHO has assigned this label to seven outbreaks, including Covid-19, H1N1 flu, Ebola, monkeypox, polio, and Zika.
According to WHO data, Covid-19 deaths have decreased steadily over the past three months, from over 41,000 weekly deaths in January to around 3,500 on April 24. Tedros noted that the pandemic has been on a downward trend for over a year, with population immunity increasing due to vaccination and infection, mortality decreasing, and the pressure on health systems easing. Consequently, many countries have returned to life as it was before Covid-19.