The WHO officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic two years ago today

Mar 11 2022, 2:54 pm

As the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, the world’s battle against COVID-19 has largely been pushed to the backburner.

But that doesn’t mean today’s grim milestone should pass us by without recognition.

On this date two years ago, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, triggering a seismic worldwide chain reaction of closures, postponements, cancellations, guidelines, new mandates, and medicine.

According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, the global COVID-19 case count has reached more than 453,000,000, and the death toll has eclipsed six million, 24 months into the pandemic.

the long-lasting impacts on many individuals’ mental and physical health are yet to be fully measured

On January 30, 2020, the WHO reported that COVID-19 was a “public health emergency of international concern” and six weeks later, proclaimed it a pandemic.

Then on March 11, 2020, the WHO said COVID-19 “could be characterized as a pandemic.” Two years later, the world still has many unanswered questions, the biggest of which relates to the origin of the virus.

The virus first emerged in Wuhan (China) in late 2019. Early in the pandemic, an international team of scientists and health experts were permitted to investigate the city but struggled to establish the origins of COVID-19.

Experts believe the virus originated from an animal.

Fast forward to March 2022; major global economies have begun to reopen, with countries around the world learning to live with the virus. Public health has remained consistent that the pandemic is not yet over.

The WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Thursday that “although reported cases and deaths are declining globally, and several countries have lifted restrictions, the pandemic is far from over.”

“COVID-19 will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” said Ghebreyesus, still stressing that experts and scientists are continuously studying how the virus spreads and evolves.

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