On January 30th, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is still a global public health emergency. However, the end of the pandemic could be near.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated, “While the pandemic is not over, and we still have a long way to go, the end is in sight.” He emphasized the need for continued caution, such as wearing masks and getting vaccinated, in order to bring the pandemic under control and prevent new outbreaks.
According to WHO, the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths has decreased significantly in many countries, and vaccination coverage is increasing globally. However, new variants of the virus are emerging and the organization has warned against complacency.
Ghebreyesus warned, “We must not let our guard down. We must continue to suppress transmission, vaccinate as many people as possible, and adapt to the changing virus. This is how we will reach the end of this pandemic.”
WHO’s executive director of health emergencies, Dr. Mike Ryan, added, “While we have made great progress, we cannot afford to be complacent. The virus will continue to mutate and new variants will emerge. We must continue to be prepared for any eventuality.”
The WHO first declared the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020 and has extended the declaration several times since. This declaration has allowed the organization to mobilize resources and coordinate global efforts to respond to the pandemic.
The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is within reach, but continued caution is necessary. The WHO encourages efforts to suppress transmission, increase vaccination coverage, and adapt to changing virus variants.
“COVID-19 pandemic ‘is probably at a transition point,’ WHO says” — ABC News
“WHO says Covid-19 remains a global health emergency, but pandemic is at a ‘transition point’” — CNN
“WHO says Covid remains a global emergency but pandemic could near its end in 2023” — CNBC
“COVID-19 still a global health emergency, says WHO” — Politico