Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu's announcement comes nearly three and a half years after the virus was first labeled a public health emergency of international concern.
"The Emergency Committee met for the 15th time and recommended to me that I declare an end to the public health emergency of international concern," Tedros said, according to the BBC. "I've accepted that advice. It is therefore with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency."
Tedros noted that the announcement should not be taken to mean the virus no longer poses a risk. "The worst thing any country can do now is to use this news as a reason to let down its guard, to dismantle the systems it has built, or to send the message to its people that Covid-19 is nothing to worry about," he warned.
In a statement, the WHO highlighted the fact that the pandemic had "prompted countries to enhance their functional capacities, particularly related to emergency coordination, collaborative surveillance, clinical care, and risk communications and communication engagement."
"The world has made significant and impressive global progress since the declaration of the PHEIC in January 2020," it added, suggesting that, "Reaching the point where COVID-19 can be considered as no longer constituting a PHEIC should be seen as an accolade to international coordination and commitment to global health."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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