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COVID-19 No Longer a Global Health Emergency, Per WHO

The World Health Organization has downgraded the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, but WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday that the virus remains a "global health threat."

(TNS) — STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The World Health Organization (WHO) said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is no longer a global health emergency on Friday during a press conference.

A panel of experts had convened and made the decision to lower the level of alert.

"It's with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, according to the Associated Press.

However, while COVID-19 is no longer considered a global health emergency, Ghebreyesus said that doesn't mean it's no longer a "global health threat."

He added that the WHO will continue to monitor COVID-19 numbers throughout the world and wouldn't hesitate to reconvene health experts again to reassess the situation should "COVID-19 put our world in peril."

Ghebreyesus acknowledged the damage that the coronavirus wrought on every country in the world, but said most nations have already returned to life the way it was before the pandemic — mask and vaccination requirements have been lifted, businesses have reopened, children are back at school and people are no longer afraid to leave their homes.

"COVID has changed our world and it has changed us," Ghebreyesus said, according to the report, while still warning the global health community that new COVID-19 variants are still a risk.

In the U.S., the public health emergency declaration made regarding COVID-19 is set to expire on May 11, when wide-ranging measures to support the pandemic response, including vaccine mandates, will end. Many other countries, including Germany, France and Britain, dropped many of their provisions against the pandemic last year.

— Associated Press material was used in this report

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