Covid is no longer a global emergency, according to leaders at the World Health Organisation (WHO). What, really? Keep up, guys. Oh, but it is still a “pandemic”. Seriously, let it go. The Mail has the story.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the UN health agency, said Friday: “It’s with great hope that I declare Covid over as a global health emergency.”
However, he stopped short of declaring the pandemic over, warning that the virus still posed a threat in developing countries that have not had access to vaccines.
It comes as the final pandemic restrictions in the U.S. are set to end Thursday months after President Joe Biden declared the pandemic “over” for America.
The pandemic, which triggered once-unthinkable lockdowns, upended the global economy, and killed at least seven million people across the world.
At the briefing Friday, Dr Tedros said the pandemic is likely responsible for around 20 million deaths — due to reporting issues and testing inconsistencies.
“It isn’t a snap decision. It’s something we came up with over time,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an American infectious disease specialist at the WHO, said in response to a question about why the agency made this decision so late.
Professor Didier Houssin, a WHO member from France, said the agency first considered lifting the emergency in January.
However, a massive Covid surge in China around the new year that triggered fears of a new strain with traits that had never been seen before made them reconsider.
The health agency first declared Covid an international crisis on January 30th 2020. At that point, no major outbreaks had been recorded outside of China.
However, the WHO leaders now say it is time for countries to treat Covid as they do other infectious diseases.
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