The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Friday that Covid-19 was no longer a global health emergency.
The announcement came amid the 15th meeting of the WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, which convened on Thursday. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concurred with the committee’s statement, agreeing that the “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC) declaration should come to an end.
“For more than a year the pandemic has been on a downward trend,” Tedros elaborated during a Friday news conference. “This trend has allowed most countries to return to life as we knew it before Covid-19.”
The global declaration comes six days before the May 11 deadline set by the Biden Administration to end the U.S. public health emergency for Covid-19. The U.S. Covid national emergency has already ended early, on April 10.
According to WHO officials, Covid-19 continues to spread, the virus is evolving and remains a global health threat, but at a lower level of concern.
“So, we fully expect that this virus will continue to transmit, but this is the history of pandemics,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme. “In most cases, pandemics truly end when the next pandemic begins. I know that’s a terrible thought but that is the history of pandemics.”
The WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on January 30, 2020.
According to the WHO, as of May 3 there were more than 765 million confirmed cases of Covid worldwide, while nearly 7 million Covid patients who have died since its outbreak.
As of April 30, a total of more than 13 million Covid-19 vaccination doses had been administered globally.
According to the CDC, as of the first week of May there were 77,000 new cases of Covid in the United States. Since the outbreak there have been more than 104 million U.S. Covid cases, leading to more than 1.1 million deaths.