Covid-19 is still a global health emergency, WHO says

Virus cases have risen by 30 per cent in the last fortnight



File photo
File photo

By Reuters

Published: Tue 12 Jul 2022, 5:52 PM

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that Covid-19 remains a global emergency, nearly 2-1/2 years after it was first declared.

The Emergency Committee, made up of independent experts, said in a statement that rising cases, ongoing viral evolution and pressure on health services in a number of countries meant that the situation was still an emergency.

Cases reported to WHO had risen by 30% in the last fortnight, the statement said, although the committee accepted that increased population immunity, largely from vaccines, had seen a "decoupling" of cases from hospitalisations and deaths.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus accepted the committee's advice.

The UN health agency first declared the highest level of alert, known as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, for Covid-19 on Jan. 30, 2020.

Such a determination can help accelerate research, funding and international public health measures to contain a disease.


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