The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the pandemic has reached a “transition point”. However, this does not mean the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) declared by the WHO in 2020 has ended.
The WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee met last week to discuss COVID-19 and stated that the WHO should suggest alternative mechanisms to keep the global focus on COVID-19 after the PHEIC is terminated.
The committee said that the virus is likely to remain a permanent pathogen and long-term public health action is essential.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised countries to continue vaccinating, improve disease surveillance, maintain strong health systems, and tackle misinformation.
Tedros expressed concern about the rising number of deaths and warned not to underestimate the virus as it will continue to kill if not addressed adequately.
The WHO is urging alternative mechanisms to keep the global focus on COVID-19, as the virus is likely to remain a permanent pathogen, requiring long-term public health action.