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WHO says COVID-19 is still a global health emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains a global emergency, nearly three years after it was first declared as one.

The WHO’s emergency committee first made the declaration for COVID-19 on Jan 30, 2020. Such a determination can help accelerate research, funding and international public health measures to contain a disease.

The United Nations agency has said in recent months that while cases are falling in parts of the world, countries still need to maintain their vigilance and push to get their most vulnerable populations vaccinated.

“Although the public perception is that the pandemic is over in some parts of the world, it remains a public health event that continues to adversely and strongly affect the health of the world’s population,” the WHO’s committee said.

It noted that even though the number of weekly deaths are the lowest since the pandemic began, they still remain high compared to other viruses.

“This pandemic has surprised us before and very well may again,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. — Reuters

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