The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency, saying that the pandemic has been on a downward trend for more than a year. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement during a news conference, stating that most countries have been able to return to life as it was before the pandemic.
This decision came after the WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee gathered to discuss the pandemic. The virus is still spreading, but at a much lower rate.
WHO suggests it is time for countries to transition from treating coronavirus as an emergency to treating it as a disease that is here to stay.
Experts, however, pointed out that the virus can continue to be a risk, especially for vulnerable groups and people who have not completed vaccination schedules. It is still essential to follow the safety measures and protocols that have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
On April 28, Costa Rica eliminated the mandatory COVID-19 test for foreigners traveling from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao. Similarly, the US revealed that starting on May 11, air travelers wouldn’t have to show proof of covid vaccination.
The White House declared that “we are now in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary.” While these measures have been lifted, it is still important to maintain safety protocols such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
It is also important to note that nearly 7 million people have died from the disease since it was first declared as a global health emergency back on January 30, 2020. Tedros emphasized the devastating effects of the pandemic, stating that “Covid-19 has been so much more than a health crisis. It has caused severe social upheaval with borders closed, movement restricted, schools shut, and millions of people experiencing loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression.”
Although the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is a positive step forward, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not yet over.
While many countries have started vaccinating their citizens, there are still many who have not had the chance to receive their shots. The fight against COVID-19 is far from over, and it is crucial to continue practicing safety protocols and following guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone.
The end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is a significant development in the fight against the pandemic. However, we must remain vigilant and continue to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
As we move forward, it is crucial to remember that we are all in this together, and by working together, we can overcome this global health crisis.