'I declare Covid-19 over': World Health Organisation boss says coronavirus is no longer a global emergency

5 May 2023, 14:54

Covid-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency
Covid-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Covid-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced.

It is a symbolic end to the Covid pandemic, more than three years after the it was declared.

"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," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"I've accepted that advice. It's therefore with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency," he added.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Picture: Getty

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When the UN health agency first declared the coronavirus to be an international crisis on January 30 2020, it had not yet been named Covid-19 and there were no major outbreaks beyond China.

There has been a gradual winding down of Covid measures in recent months.

The NHS Covid app has been switched off and will be discontinued from May 16.

The virus' death rate has dropped from a peak of more than 100,000 people per week in January 2021 to around 3,500 on April 24.

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