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WHO says π‚πŽπ•πˆπƒ 𝐧𝐨 π₯𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐠π₯π¨π›πšπ₯ 𝐑𝐞𝐚π₯𝐭𝐑 𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲

A pupil at the Winnie Mandela Secondary School has her temperature measured as she enters the school premises before classes resume in the Tembisa township, Ekurhuleni, on June 8, 2020. – Grade 7 and grade 12 pupils in South Africa began returning to classrooms on June 8, 2020 after two and a half months of home-schooling to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP)

COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a β€œglobal health emergency”, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

The announcement has come more than three years after the United Nations health agency declared its highest level of alert over the devastating virus, which triggered lockdowns, upended economies and killed millions of people worldwide.

β€œYesterday, 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. β€œI’ve accepted that advice. It’s, therefore, with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency.”

The WHO said that even though the emergency phase was over, the pandemic declared in March 2020 has not come to an end, noting recent spikes in cases in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

The agency said thousands of people are still dying from the coronavirus every week.

β€œThat does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat,” Tedros said, adding he would not hesitate to reconvene experts to reassess the situation should the coronavirus β€œput our world in peril”.

Tedros said the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year, acknowledging that most countries have already returned to how life was before COVID-19 emerged.

He bemoaned the damage that COVID-19 had done to the global community, saying the disease had shattered businesses and plunged millions of people into poverty.-Aljazeera-

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