The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that COVID-19 is no longer a “global health emergency”.
This announcement comes after three years since the virus was first declared as a pandemic, in January 2020.
In a statement, the WHO said “the virus’ death rate had dropped from a peak of more than 100,000 people per week in January 2021 to just over 3,500 on 24 April,” BBC.com reports.
The head of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at that least seven million people died in the pandemic.
But he added that “the true figure was ‘likely’ closer to 20 million deaths – nearly three times the official estimate – and he warned that the virus remained a significant threat.
“Yesterday, 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. I’ve accepted that advice. It is therefore with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency.”
He, however, added that the fact the COVID-19 has been removed from the highest level does not mean the danger was over.
He explained that the emergency status could be reinstated if the situation changed.
“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 said.