World Health Organization Declares COVID-19 'Over' As 'Global Health Emergency,' Sparking Mixed Reactions Online

May 5th, 2023 - 1:40 PM EDT by Adam Downer

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world health organization covid 19 over

It's been over three years since COVID-19 grew into a global health emergency, fundamentally changing lives around the world. The introduction of vaccines has allowed for the easing of the tight restrictions that defined the first year of the pandemic, causing many, including PSY of "Gangnam Style" fame, to declare the pandemic over. This morning, the World Health Organization got as close to officially declaring the COVID-19 pandemic over as the world is likely to see.

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the organization has said that COVID-19, while still a "threat," is "no longer a global health emergency."

"For more than a year, the pandemic has been on a downward trend with population immunity increasing from vaccination and infection, mortality decreasing, and the pressure on health systems easing," he said.

"This trend has allowed most countries to return to life as we knew it before Covid-19. It’s therefore with great hope that I declared Covid-19 over as a global health emergency." WHO tweeted Dr. Ghebreyesus's comments afterward.

who covid-19 statement

The news was met with mixed reactions from social media users. On the one hand, many areas of the world have more or less returned to a pre-Covid lifestyle, and WHO's declaration could largely be seen as a symbolic "end" to the pandemic for some. Others felt the effects of COVID-19, and particularly the "long Covid" phenomenon, are still being felt around the world, and WHO's declaration continued a global trend of governments and authority figures downplaying the virus.

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Though Dr. Ghebreyesus had declared the end of Covid-19 as a "global health emergency," he conceded "the virus is here to stay." He urged governments not to dismantle the systems in place they'd developed to help their citizens through the pandemic and warned that it was still possible a new variant could emerge.

Top Comments


Um, excuse me? I was told there would be a fascistic power-grab? People were very emphatic that the pandemic and lockdown were going to be cover for an authoritarian takedown and removal of almost all civil liberties? It's weird because the only power-grab appears to have come from a lot of the same people. You know, the ones who were saying we should resist the lockdowns because they were just a pretense for a power-grab. I mean, they seemed very, very sure that the restrictions would not gradually ease as the pandemic subsided, and yet, here we are. Did screaming in supermarkets when asked to wear a mask successfully prevent a fascist takeover? Someone explain it to me, please.


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