The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 an international emergency on Monday, exactly three years to the day after it issued the highest degree of global alert.
Following the recommendations of the emergency committee of the United Nations health organization, which met for the 14th time since the crisis began on Friday, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus came to that conclusion.
On January 30, 2020, the WHO initially deemed the then-known as the new coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC), the highest level of global alert.
Less than 100 cases and no deaths had been found outside of China when it raised the alert.
Since then, the WHO has received reports of more than 752 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, including more than 6.8 million fatalities; however, the actual numbers are likely far higher.
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Tedros recognized that “as we enter the fourth year of the epidemic, there is no doubt we are in a significantly better condition now than we were a year ago, when the Omicron wave was at its peak,” while speaking to the WHO’s executive board on Monday in Geneva.
But, he continued, there has been an increase in weekly reported deaths since the first of December.
“In the past eight weeks, more than 170,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19.”