The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that Covid-19 is no longer a global public health emergency. The pandemic has been on a downward trend with increasing population immunity from vaccination and infection, as well as decreasing mortality rates and easing pressure on health systems, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros has declared Covid-19 over as a global health emergency as this trend has allowed most countries to return to life before Covid-19.
Risk of New Variants
Although the WHO has declared the end of Covid-19 as a global public health emergency, Tedros warned that there is still a risk of new variants emerging and causing another surge in cases. Therefore, national governments should not dismantle the systems they have built to fight the virus. The WHO chief also said that the time has come for countries to transition from an emergency response to managing Covid-19 as they do with other infectious diseases.
Unprecedented Shutdown and Severe Economic and Social Upheaval
Covid-19 was first observed in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, leading to an unprecedented shutdown of international travel and border closures as countries unsuccessfully tried to prevent the spread of the virus. The virus devastated the elderly and other vulnerable populations, ravaged hospitals, and caused severe economic and social upheaval. Covid-19 has caused severe economic disruption, erasing trillions from GDP, disrupting travel and trade, shattering businesses, and plunging millions into poverty. It has also caused severe social upheaval with borders closed, movement restricted, schools shut, and millions of people experiencing loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression.
The origins of the virus are still a mystery, with scientists, government officials, and the general public debating whether Covid-19 spilled over to humans from an infected animal or leaked from a lab in China. The US intelligence community is divided in its assessment of Covid-19’s origins, and the WHO, allied nations, and the US government have criticized the Chinese government for not providing transparent access to data that could help determine how the pandemic started.
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