health
Saturday Mar 12 2022
By
Web Desk

COVID-19: Is it an end of pandemic? WHO experts debate

By
Web Desk
Covid-19 virus representational image. Photo: Stock/file
Covid-19 virus representational image. Photo: Stock/file

More than two years after the virus emerged, the public health experts at the World Health Organisation have begun debating how and when to call an end to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Al Jazeera reported.

The WHO stated that such a proclamation is not being considered at this time. While cases have decreased in many countries, fatalities have surged in Hong Kong, with China reporting over 1,000 new cases per day for the first time in two years this week, stated the publication.

Instead, Al Jazeera stated that the Geneva-based organisation is debating what conditions would indicate that the public health emergency proclaimed on Jan. 30, 2020, has ended. 

A pronouncement like this would be more than simply a symbolic gesture; it would also give a boost to the dismantling of many pandemic-era public health measures.

In an email, the agency stated, "The Worldwide Health Regulations Emergency Committee on COVID-19 is looking at the conditions needed to declare the public health emergency of international significance as ended." 

"At the moment, we aren't there,” said WHO.

In the past, the WHO has been hesitant to declare global health emergencies and disease outbreaks over. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, like the declaration of emergency, will make the final decision after consulting with specialists.

Population immunity, defined as the proportion of people who have antibodies to the virus due to immunisation, infection, or both, is a critical statistic for countries considering exiting emergency status, the publication reported.