The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an end to the COVID-19 global public health emergency.
“For more than a year, the pandemic has been on a downward trend with population immunity increasing from vaccination and infection, mortality decreasing, and the pressure on health systems easing,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference in Geneva.
“This trend has allowed most countries to return to life as we knew it before Covid-19,” Tedros said.
“It is therefore, with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency.”
The end of the #COVID19 global health emergency is a moment for reflection. The painful lessons we have learned, the investments we have made, and the capacity we have built must be transformed into meaningful and lasting change. pic.twitter.com/feGmaRhAa5
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) May 6, 2023
The WHO said COVID-19 was here to stay and countries would have to learn how to manage its ongoing non-emergency effects, including post-Covid-19 conditions, or Long Covid.
“This virus is here to stay. It’s still killing, and it’s still changing,” he said.
“Covid-19 has been so much more than a health crisis,” Tedros said. “It has caused severe economic upheaval, erasing trillions from GDP, disrupting travel and trade, shattering businesses, and plunging millions into poverty,” he said.
“It has caused severe social upheaval with borders closed, movement restricted, schools shut, and millions of people experiencing loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression,” Tedros said.
WHO declared the coronavirus an international crisis on January 30, 2020.