World Health Organization Declares Covid Global Health Emergency Over

KABUL (BNA) The World Health Organization today ended its designation of Covid as a “global health emergency.”

WHO director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement, tweeted out by WHO, that it is “with great hope” that he declares Covid “over as a global health emergency,” but added, “that does not mean Covid-19 is over as a global health threat.”

“Last week, Covid-19 claimed a life every three minutes – and that’s just the deaths we know about,” he wrote.

The news comes just a week before the May 11 date when the United States will end its declaration of Covid as a Public Health Emergency.

Officially, Covid will remain a “public health priority,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. In practical terms, the transition will have a minimal impact on most Americans – access to vaccinations and treatment generally will not be affected, though Medicare beneficiaries will no longer have access to free over-the-counter Covid tests. For more details, see this Health and Human Services fact sheet.

Similarly, the WHO declaration shouldn’t have a big practical impact since many countries previously ended states of emergency. Covid will retain its global status as a pandemic.

At a press conference today, Ghebreyesus said the pandemic has been on a downward trend for the past year, allowing “most countries to return to life as we knew it before Covid-19.”

WHO first declared Covid a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020. Six weeks later, Covid was deemed a pandemic.


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