Not Gone, WHO Hopes Covid-19 Will No Longer Be a Global Health Emergency in 2023



Illustration of the development of the Covid-19 case in the world. credit: Fernandozhiminaicela.

It has been almost three years since Covid-19 spread worldwide, seeing that the Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) hopes that Covid-19 will no longer be a global health emergency in the coming year. In a press conference held in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedro Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the WHO's Covid-19 Emergency Committee would discuss the criteria for declaring the end of the Covid-19 emergency next month.

"We hope that at some point next year, we can say that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency," said Tedro Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He added that ever, the SARS-CoV-2 v, a virus that was the cause of the presence of Covid-19 and, emic would not disappear. Therefore, he asked all countries to learn how to manage other respiratory diseases together, including influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which are currently circulating in several countries.

WHO Health Emergency Program Executive Director, Mike Ryan revealed that until now the world still does not know how the SARS-CoV-2 virus will develop, so people need to be alert for future risks.

Panic Buying Problems Faced

Illustration of a woman shopping at a supermarket in the face of a spike in Covid-19. credit: Paxels.

The Chinese government has relaxed policies, after the decline in Covid-19 cases in the country. However, new problems have arisen because many people in the community are hoarding food and medicines.

Meanwhile, most of the medicines purchased by the public are ibuprofen, cold medicine, and Covid-19 test kits, which are currently in short supply. Not only that, most home remedies are now not available online, including canned lemons and peaches which are rich in vitamin C, and electrolyzed water.

Hoarding of medicine and food is a common global problem, especially when the lockdown is loosened which makes many people vie to stock up on food and medicine just in case.

Just like in other countries, the lack of availability of groceries both offline and online is a frequent occurrence, especially when the government advises people to stay at home.

However, after the rules were relaxed, people were asked to self-isolate at home, causing many people to panic buy drugs. This is done to anticipate the wave of a pandemic that might occur.

Not only that but the government is also urged to improve medical care, especially in the ICU unit by opening a fever clinic, in anticipation of facing a wave of pandemics that could occur in the future. In China itself, a video has circulated showing that hospitals and clinics are full so people inevitably use infusions from cars to get treatment.

Growing Medical Needs

Illustration of an antigen swab kit that can be purchased online. Credit: Spratt.

China Dialy reports that there has been an increase in demand for medicines such as pain relievers, vitamins, and cold medicines. Apart from that, there were also pharmacy outlets showing that the stock of medicines was empty. Many media also report that pharmaceutical companies are working hard to meet stocks of medicines that are experiencing a surge in demand.

One of the cities that has experienced a spike in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks is Guangzhou. Seeing this, a leading newspaper in China noted that people had experienced panic buying medical needs, so the government asked people to buy medicines as needed.

"There is no need to hoard them in large quantities," said a representative for the Guangzhou Municipal Government.

The Global Times newspaper report also observed that the turnover of tools for detecting Covid-19 had increased by more than 300 percent, in line with the new policy of the Chinese government which relaxed rules regarding Covid-19. Many people are competing to buy a Covid-10 detection kit, so the stock is empty in several online and offline stores.


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