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WHO Declares COVID-19 Emergency Over – So What’s Next?

May 9, 2023 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the coronavirus is no longer a global emergency. But it’s also taking steps to ensure the next pandemic doesn’t have the same disastrous effects.

“It’s with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a recent panel of experts, explaining the organization’s decision to lower the threat level of the virus. While recognizing the general damage wrought, he also acknowledged that most countries have returned to pre-COVID behaviors – schools are open, masks are no longer required, and vaccinations have helped limit the severity of illness.

Concurrently, the United States has announced that the public health emergency is officially over as of May 11.

But what steps are being taken to prepare for and respond to the inevitable next global health threat? WHO’s Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats (PRET) initiative is a starting point.

Intended to offer guidance on planning and responding to any respiratory pathogen (including influenza and coronavirus), PRET’s goal is to improve clarity on implementation, increase collaboration and systematically roll out resources for cross-country and stakeholder actions, via tools including:

  • Technical resource packs
  • Peer learning networks, and
  • A community of practice to help stakeholders update preparedness plans and share experiences.

Click here to follow the initiative as it continues to grow.

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