MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The pandemic has reached a "transition point," the World Health Organization said Monday.
Still, that does not mean the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) designation declared by the WHO in January 2020 is over yet.
The organization's International Health Regulations Emergency Committee met last week to discuss COVID-19, saying in a statement released Monday that it urged WHO to propose "alternative mechanisms to maintain the global and national focus on COVID-19 after the PHEIC is terminated."
The advisory committee said there was little doubt that the virus would remain a permanently established pathogen in humans and animals for the foreseeable future, even as higher levels of immunity from infection or vaccination might limit its impact on illness and death.
"As such, long-term public health action is critically needed," the committee said. "While eliminating this virus from human and animal reservoirs is highly unlikely, mitigation of its devastating impact on morbidity and mortality is achievable and should continue to be a prioritized goal."