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COVID-19 still a public health emergency – WHO



The World Health Organisation says COVID-19 remains a public health emergency. The agency’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus accepted the recommendations of its emergency committee on Jan. 30. 

The WHO’s emergency committee convened Jan. 27 to vote on whether the pandemic still constitutes the global emergency declaration. Members cited a high number of global deaths compared to other respiratory diseases, low vaccine uptake in low- and middle-income countries, and uncertainty surrounding emerging variants amid a drop in surveillance and sequencing.

Dr Ghebreyesus concurred with the committee’s advice and acknowledged the pandemic is “probably at a transition point” — a period the WHO says must be navigated carefully to mitigate further negative consequences. 

The committee also recommended the agency work with stakeholders on a proposal for how to maintain focus on COVID-19 once the emergency declaration is terminated. 

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