WHO ends COVID global health emergency designation

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O. director general, in Geneva last month.Credit…Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that they have declared an end to the global health emergency caused by COVID-19, more than three years after it was first declared. This decision changes little in terms of practical measures as many countries have already ended their states of emergency and moved away from almost all public health restrictions. However, the decision represents a significant milestone in the evolving human relationship with the virus. Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, who led India’s Public Health Foundation through the pandemic, stated that the decision to lift the emergency was appropriate, as the virus no longer poses the same level of danger due to high levels of global immunity induced by vaccination or infection. Nevertheless, the virus will continue to have pandemic status according to the WHO. While COVID-19 has caused millions of deaths globally and upended daily life, it has also spurred unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration among countries and resulted in an extraordinary triumph of science with the development of vaccines in less than a year.

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