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Breaking: WHO Declares End of Covid-19 Emergency After Three Years

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that Covid-19 was no longer a global health emergency after nearly 20mn people died from the virus in three years.

The UN agency said it had lifted the status of Covid-19 as a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, or PHEIC — the highest level of alert under international health rules.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters: “The pandemic has been declining for more than a year.

“The emergency committee met yesterday for the fifteenth time and advised me to end the public health emergency. I have followed their recommendation.”

“I am very hopeful to declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency,” he said.

He urged countries to “move on from emergency mode” and said the decision was “not taken lightly”.

The WHO started using the term “pandemic” in March 2020 to warn the world of the dangers of the virus, but it has no legal implications.

According to WHO data, Covid-19 has infected 765mn and killed nearly 7mn people worldwide. However, these figures are likely to be much lower than the actual numbers due to limited testing. Tedros estimated that the real death toll was around 20mn.

Other diseases that have been classified as PHEICs include Ebola, polio and mpox, a rare viral infection also known as monkeypox.

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