WHO Chief Says Covid Still a Global Emergency

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that the Covid-19 pandemic is still a worldwide emergency, three years to the day after it declared its highest level of global alert.

Tedros, speaking after a meeting of the UN Health Agency’s emergency committee on Covid-19 last Friday, stated that the organization “concurs with the advice offered by the committee regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and determines that the event continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)”.

According to the statement, Tedros “acknowledges the committee’s views that the Covid-19 pandemic is probably at a transition point and appreciates the advice of the committee to navigate this transition carefully and mitigate the potential negative consequences.”

Even before the meeting, the WHO chief had suggested that the emergency phase of the outbreak is not ended, citing rising death tolls and warned that the global response to the crisis “remains hobbled.”

The WHO first declared a so-called PHEIC as what was then called the novel coronavirus began to spread outside China on January 30, 2020.