The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that COVID-19 remains a global emergency, nearly three years after it was first declared.
The WHO emergency committee placed COVID-19 on the list for the first time on January 30, 2020, a determination that helps accelerate research, funding, and international public health action to contain a disease.
The UN agency has said in recent months that although cases are falling in some parts of the world, countries still need to maintain vigilance and boost vaccination of their most vulnerable populations.
"Although the public perception is that the pandemic has ended in some parts of the world, it remains a public health event that continues to adversely and strongly affect the health of the world's population," the WHO committee said.
He noted that although the weekly death toll is the lowest since the pandemic began, it is still high compared to other viruses.
"This pandemic has surprised us before and it is very possible that it will do so again," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.