Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic as a global health emergency, warning that the disease remains a global threat.
Ghebreyesus explained that three years ago, the very first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Wuhan, China, which resulted in the announcement of a public health emergency in January 2020.
Three years following the pandemic outbreak, WHO Director-General recalled that COVID-19 has changed the world, causing almost 7 million reported deaths, severely disrupting healthcare systems, and impacting the global economy.
The official stated that WHO and the Emergency Committee have been analyzing data to determine the appropriate time to lower the alarm level, noting that during the 15th meeting, the Committee recommended announcing the end of the global health emergency.
In this regard, Ghebreyesus urged countries to maintain precautionary measures against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, paying tribute to the “selfless dedication” of health and care workers worldwide.
“As a global community, the suffering we have endured, the painful lessons we have learned, the investments we have made, and the capacities we have built must not go to waste,” stated Ghebreyesus, stressing that the pandemic should act as a permanent warning of the potential for new diseases and infections with disastrous consequences to arise.
Referring to the lack of coordination, equity, and solidarity in handling the pandemic, WHO Director-General further stressed that “we must promise ourselves and our children and grandchildren that we will never make those mistakes again.”
“If we all go back to how things were before COVID-19, we will have failed to learn our lessons, and we will have failed future generations,” concluded WHO Director-General.