In a significant development, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday, May 5, that COVID-19 is no longer a “global health emergency”.
The decision was taken after a decline in COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions was observed worldwide.
In a statement released on its website, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “COVID-19 is now an established and ongoing health issue which no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.”
The announcement was welcomed by the Department of Health (DOH) which acknowledged the effective and collaborative response of the Philippines towards the pandemic.
The DOH said that the proclamation will lead to the reassessment of policies and guidelines related to COVID-19, which will be discussed with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
The health department also reassured the Filipino people that all factors will be carefully considered in determining the next steps in line with the WHO’s proclamation, and that the approval of the President will be sought before any decisions are made.