Covid-19 pandemic declared over by World Health Organisation
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly described the declaration as a "symbolic end" to the pandemic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that it no longer considers Covid-19 a global emergency.
Over three years since the worldwide outbreak of the virus in March of 2020, the WHO's update is the symbolic ending of a pandemic killed at least seven million people.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
"Yesterday, 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. I have accepted that advice"-@DrTedros #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/esKKKOb1TZ
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) May 5, 2023
However, despite stating that the emergency phase of the pandemic is over, the globe's governing health body were keen to stress that the Covid-19 is still very much active, with recent spikes in cases in south-east Asia and the Middle East.
Furthermore, the United Nations added that they still estimate the weekly death toll of the virus to be in the thousands on a global scale.
Speaking on the announcement, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that "It's with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency... (but) that does not mean that Covid-19 is over as a global health threat".
Three after the initial spread of the virus, it is estimated that over 760 million people contracted Covid-19, with 5 billion people across the globe having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Irish Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly reacted to the WHO's announcement by calling it "a symbolic end" to a pandemic which had a "profound impact".
"It has affected our health, our economy, our everyday activities, and caused devastation through the loss of so many lives. While Covid-19 remains a global health threat, we have learned to live with it and return to normal life".
Newly-appointed Chief Medical Officer Breda Smyth also reflected on the symbolic ending of the pandemic, by emphasising her want for the vaccination roll-outs to continue.
"It is vital that those eligible for primary Covid-19 vaccination and who have not yet received it, and those eligible for boosters, continue to come forward to strengthen their immunity and prevent severe disease".
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