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WHO Extends Global COVID Emergency But Some Countries Ready to Move On

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.

COVID-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said today — but it may not remain so for much longer.

This was the central outcome of the 14th meeting of the WHO’s International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Emergency Committee on Jan. 27. The meeting focused on the PHEIC declaration for COVID-19, first enacted on Jan. 30, 2020, and most recently renewed in July 2022.

The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

The WHO said it “determines that the event continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern,” but “acknowledges the Committee’s views that the COVID-19 pandemic is probably at a transition point.”

The WHO’s advisory committee called on the organization to propose “alternative mechanisms to maintain the global and national focus on COVID-19 after the PHEIC is terminated,” CNN reported.

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