Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Covid-19 no longer health emergency

The Ministry of Health has said Covid-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency of international concern. 

In a press statement, the Ministry’s spokesperson Dr Christopher Nyanga indicated that the World Health Organization (WHO) determined and declared on 5 May 2023 that Covid-19 will now be treated as an established and an ongoing health issue which no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). 

He explained that this determination means that Covid-19 is no longer an extraordinary event nor is it a public health risk to other states through international spread. Nyanga said the determination also means that Covid-19 no longer requires a coordinated international response.

“As may now be of common understanding, this determination comes on the backdrop of declining Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Botswana and globally,” said Nyanga. 

He said Botswana had actually de-escalated Covid-19 response activities over the past six (6) months and has reduced measures and protocols put in place to mitigate the spread of the disease. 

“This gradual deactivation of Covid-19 activities was guided by the continued risk assessments undertaken to guide the extent of the de-escalation,” said Nyanga. 

Given the foregoing, said Nyanga, Covid-19 will now be treated as an existing, continuous health problem globally.

In Botswana, he said this therefore means that all Covid-19 activities will be integrated into routine health services. 

The Ministry of Health will however, continue monitoring the situation and advise the public as may be necessary when such a need arises. 

“The ministry further wishes to advise the public that this development does not mean that Covid-19 has been eradicated. They should remain vigilant and always take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others against Covid-19,” said Nyanga.


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