The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that COVID-19 is no longer a “global health emergency”. The virus’ death rate has dropped from a peak of more than 100,000 people per week in January 2021 to just over 3,500 on 24 April.
According to the WHO, at least 7 million people died in the pandemic. However, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the WHO, warned that the true figure was ‘likely’ closer to 20 million deaths – nearly three times the official estimate – and he added that the virus remained a significant threat.
The WHO’s announcement comes after three years since the virus was first declared as a pandemic in January 2020. The pandemic has caused significant disruptions to economies and societies worldwide. Governments have implemented various measures such as lockdowns and travel restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of global cooperation and preparedness for future pandemics.
The WHO’s announcement is a positive development for countries that have been struggling with the pandemic. However, it is important to note that COVID-19 is still a significant threat. The emergence of new variants and vaccine hesitancy pose challenges to ending the pandemic. The WHO has called for continued vigilance and adherence to public health measures such as wearing masks and social distancing.
The pandemic has also highlighted existing inequalities in healthcare systems and access to vaccines. Low-income countries have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to limited access to vaccines and healthcare resources. The WHO has called for increased global cooperation and equitable distribution of vaccines to end the pandemic.