On Friday, a committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet to vote on whether to recommend to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that he terminate the declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) that was declared three years ago in response to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. The outcome of the vote will not be revealed until Monday, but the decision may be indicative of the trajectory of the virus.
COVID-19 has caused millions of deaths worldwide and continues to spread, with additional symptoms being identified. Despite this, the US Department of Defense has rescinded its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for troops, instead opting to promote and encourage vaccination. The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023 has also ended the emergency allotments for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after February 2023.
It is up to the committee of the WHO to decide whether the PHEIC should be terminated, and all eyes are on the outcome of the vote. As the world awaits the decision, it is important to remember that the virus has not gone away, and that populations should remain cautious and continue to take the necessary safety measures.