WHO maintains maximum alert on Covid, but sees hope for ‘new phase’

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday (30) that Covid-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern, the agency’s highest form of alert.

The pandemic is likely at a “transition point” that remains in need of careful management to “mitigate potential negative consequences,” the agency added in a statement.

It’s been three years since the WHO first declared that Covid posed a global health emergency. More than 6.8 million people died during the outbreak, which hit every country, devastating communities and economies.

However, the advent of vaccines and treatments has considerably changed the pandemic situation since 2020, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he expects to see an end to the emergency this year, particularly if access to countermeasures can be improved. globally.

“We remain hopeful that next year the world will transition into a new phase in which we will reduce hospitalizations and deaths (from Covid) to the lowest possible level,” Tedros told a separate WHO meeting on Monday.

Advisers to the WHO’s expert committee on the status of the pandemic told Reuters in December that it was probably not the time to end the emergency, given uncertainty about the surge of infections in China after the country lifted its strict Covid-zero measures in the end of 2022.

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