September 26, 2023

WHO Declares Covid-19 no Longer Public Health Emergency

Monrovia, Liberia – The World Health Organization has declared that Covid-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Making the pronouncement in Monrovia on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, W.H.O Country Representative Dr. Clement Peter said, the decision was reached after the International Health Regulation Emergency Committee on Covid- 19 met for the15 time.

Dr. Peter told Journalists in Monrovia that the committee highlighted decreasing trend of covid-19 deaths, hospitalizations and ICU admissions, the circulating variants are not associated with increased disease severity, the high level of population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 from infection, vaccination, or both as criteria that informed its decision.

According to the WHO Emergency Committee, they considered three reasons to conclude that COVID-19 no longer constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC); 1, The main criteria for such a transition are now met with information above. The situation has markedly improved, with less mortality and increased immunity against the virus-immunity which is vaccine induce or naturally induced, and better access to diagnostics, vaccines and treatments. 2, It is time to change the response from emergency mode to integrated routine health services. PHEIC has played its role through emergency to generate mobilization and reaction. It is better now, to look in the IHR toolbox for a better, more adapted instrument. 3, The transition from the PHEIC status is not a signal for a country to lower the guard. On the contrary, it is a strong signal to address lessons from the COVID-19 and to reinforce the protection against emerging viruses with pandemic potential.

The Committee added that the emergency phase is now over though COVID is not. The committee noted that the end of the PHEIC does not mean COVID-19 is over at a global health threat.

The W.H.O Boss in Liberia explained that the latest decision means that Covid-19 will now be treated like a regular disease at health facilities across the world including Liberia.

This pronouncement signals a great achievement in the fight against Covid-19 which hit the world in 2019 claiming the lives of over six million people and ravaged the global economy.

Reported by: Joseph Daniel

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