Public health experts at WHO yesterday (11 March) started a discussion on how and when to declare the end of the global public health emergency due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Thus, the focus is on which conditions signal that the public health emergency declared on January 30, 2020 has ended.
Many countries around the world have taken steps to return to normal social activities, relaxed regulations on wearing masks, isolating and opening borders, welcoming tourists. However, there are still some countries with record cases of infection. WHO said in the past week there were more than 10 million cases of Covid-19 and 52,000 deaths.
The researchers also warn that even if Covid-19 cases drop to lower levels, the epidemic is still likely to cause thousands of deaths every year, unlike other diseases such as cold fever and tuberculosis. Moreover, it is still impossible to predict whether a new, more dangerous variant will appear.
In the past, WHO has been very careful when announcing the end of global health emergencies and disease outbreaks. The decision to declare an end to the state of emergency will be made by Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus after consultation with experts.
At a press conference in Geneva in the middle of this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus still noted: “Although reported cases and deaths are declining globally and some countries have lifted restrictions But the pandemic is not over – and it won’t end anywhere until end up in every corner of the world.”
WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic in March 2020. According to ABC News (USA), a pandemic is a disease that is usually widespread and strong with a risk of increasing the number of cases over a large area. Meanwhile, endemic viruses are long-lived and their spread is predictable. This predictability allows doctors and the health care system to prepare and adapt, reducing mortality.