The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of international concern.
However, health authorities in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are urging the public to not let down their guard as the virus is still in circulation.
In a release dated May 6, the Health Services Sub-committee of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), said it was advising the public that the WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee held its 15th meeting on COVID-19 on Thursday, May 4, and concluded that a public health emergency of international concern or PHEIC relative to COVID-19 no longer exists as COVID-19 does not currently meet the requirements to be considered a Global Health Emergency.
It said the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concurred with the Committee regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He accepted their assessment that COVID-19 is now an established and ongoing public health issue which no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The discontinuation of the PHEIC means that the WHO Emergency Committee now sees
COVID-19 as yet another “routine” threat to public health and should be included in our normal surveillance and other disease controlling activities.
The sub-committee stressed that the discontinuation of the PHEIC does not mean the end of a pandemic, neither does it mean that COVID-19 is gone. As such, the health services sub-committee wishes to remind the public, especially those at greater risk of serious illness if infected with the SARS-Cov-2, to not let their guard down as the virus continues to circulate in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as in other countries throughout the world. The precautionary measures, especially hand hygiene and vaccination, are still important in reducing transmission of the virus and other infectious diseases like influenza.