WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday that he “hopes” that the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer be considered a global emergency sometime next year.
His comments at the media briefing were China Reversing its strict “zero COVID” policy and allowing people to live with the virus has raised concerns that the world’s second-largest economy faces a surge in infections.
A WHO body meets every few months to decide whether the novel coronavirus, which emerged three years ago in Wuhan, China and killed more than 6.6 million people, remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) ).
The designation is intended to spark a coordinated international response and potentially free up funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.
Asked what would be needed to end PHEIC, WHO senior epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said: “There is more work to be done.”
“The world still has a lot of work to do if there are large numbers of people who are not vaccinated,” said Mike Ryan, director of emergencies at WHO, on the same issue.