In an update today, the top official of the United Nations’ World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the end of COVID-19 as a public health emergency. However, the Chief emphasised that this declaration does not imply that the disease is no longer a worldwide threat. The WHO head expressed optimism while making this statement.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, COVID-19 caused a death every three minutes last week. This information was shared during a media briefing held at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva. It is important to note that this figure only accounts for the deaths that have been reported.
According to his statement, the virus, which was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the WHO chief on January 30, 2020, is here to stay. He further added that it is still causing fatalities and undergoing mutations. There is still a risk of new variants emerging that could lead to a surge in cases and deaths, according to experts.
He added that the decision was not made hastily. Over the course of the last year, the Emergency Committee led by the World Health Organisation has been meticulously analysing data to determine the appropriate moment to reduce the level of concern.
The pandemic has been declining for more than a year now. This is attributed to the improved immunity resulting from the development of highly effective vaccines to combat the disease and infections, which were created in a remarkably short period of time. In a positive development, death rates have reportedly decreased, leading to a reduction in pressure on previously overwhelmed health systems.
According to Tedros, this trend has enabled many countries to resume their pre-COVID-19 way of life. At another level, the current situation has prompted a period of profound introspection, as the ongoing impact of COVID-19 leaves indelible marks on our global community. The WHO Chief also stated that these scars would act as a lasting reminder of the possibility for new viruses to arise, resulting in catastrophic outcomes. In a solemn declaration, he stated, “We must make a promise to ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren that we will never repeat those errors again.”