COVID-19 no longer a public health emergency – WHO

The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is no longer a PHEIC, triggering a transition to long-term management of the pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

The decision was made during the 15th meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee held on 4 May.

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that COVID-19 is now an established and ongoing health issue that no longer constitutes a PHEIC.

The committee members noted the decreasing trend in COVID-19 deaths, the decline in COVID-19 related hospitalisations and intensive care unit admissions, and the high levels of population immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

However, they acknowledged that the potential evolution of the virus poses remaining uncertainties.

The WHO Director-General will convene an IHR Review Committee to advise on Standing Recommendations for the long-term management of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, taking into account the 2023-2025 COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.

During this transition, States Parties are advised to continue following the issued Temporary Recommendations.

This decision comes as countries worldwide continue to combat COVID-19, with some experiencing surges in cases and others seeing declines.

The WHO's declaration signifies a transition from a focus on emergency response to long-term management, with a renewed emphasis on preparedness and response planning.