May 5. The UN health agency declared Friday that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is no longer an international public emergency, which does not mean that COVID-19 is no longer a public health threat. Last week, the disease claimed a life every three minutes and thousands of people are currently in intensive care units.
«Yesterday, the Emergency Committee met for the fifteenth time and recommended that I declare an end to the public health emergency of international concern. I have accepted that advice. It is therefore with great hope that I declare the end of COVID-19 as an international health emergency,» said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus.
However, the top global public health official warned that «this does not mean that COVID-19 has ceased to be a global health threat.»
«This virus is here to stay. It continues to kill and it continues to change. There remains a risk that new variants will emerge that will lead to further spikes in cases and deaths. The worst thing any country could do now is to use this news as a reason to let its guard down, to dismantle the systems it has built, or to send the message to its population that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about,» Tedros warned.
The WHO director explained that what the news means is that the time has come for countries to move from emergency mode to managing COVID-19 along with other infectious diseases.
Source: UN News