WHO on May 5, announced that COVID-19 no longer represents a global health emergency which is a major step towards the end of the pandemic that has killed more than 6.9 million people, disrupted the global economy, and ravaged communities.
The World Health Organisation’s Emergency Committee met on Thursday, May 4, and recommended that the UN agency to declare an end to the public health emergency of international concern, which has been in place for over three years.
However, the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus says countries should still maintain their COVID-19 strategies.
“This virus is here to stay and still killing, and still changing. The risk remains of a new variant emerging. The worse any country could do now is to use this news as a reason to let its guards down to dismantle the system it already built. Or to send a message to its people that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about. What this news means is that, it’s time for countries to transition from emergency mood to managing COVID-19 along side other infectious diseases,” Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus warned.
The Government of Ghana says the country will not let its guard down despite the World Health Organization’s declaration of an end to the COVID-19 global health emergency.
Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare said government will continue to prioritize the health and safety of citizens in the management of the virus.
“We will manage it like any other disease. All that the WHO is saying is that, not that COVID-19 is completely gone, so we should be able to manage it as a country. For some months now we have not seen any COVID-19-related deaths and our ICUs have not been over-stressed with hospitalization. But we have to continue with the sensitization so that we don’t lose sight of what is happening. It should become part and parcel of us”, he said on Eyewitness News.
The Presidential Advisor on Health says government will continue with its routine surveillance until the pandemic is eradicated.
“We are trying to return life to normal as if there is no COVID-19. So we will sustain the national capacity so that we do not have to fight any major pandemic in the country. There will be more vaccines for the unvaccinated and continue with surveillance. So we will not lose sight of it and make sure the system in Ghana continues. So we are not going to stop with COVID-19 but put all these measures in place until the pandemic is formally declared over. We will be on the lookout.”