The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared an end to the global health emergency status of Covid-19 on Friday, May 5, 2023. This news is significant as it signals a shift in the fight against the pandemic towards long-term management and preparedness. The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated that the Indonesian government will take note of this decision and prepare for the future management of the virus.
According to Nadia, the government is preparing for the long-term management of Covid-19 by following the guidelines set out in the WHO’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Strategy for 2023-2025.
She also added that the government has been consulting with WHO officials in Geneva and Jakarta regarding the pandemic’s transition in Indonesia.
To prepare for the lifting of the pandemic status, the Indonesian government will work with epidemiologists and WHO Indonesia to conduct a study of the situation in the country and the appropriate time to lift the pandemic status.
They will continue to strengthen surveillance, monitor new variants through genomic sequencing, and prepare healthcare facilities and medications, as well as other health policies to ensure national health resilience and preparedness for future events.
Education for the public is also a crucial aspect of this transition, reminding the public that the virus is still present and that people should remain vigilant.
The lifting of the pandemic status is a significant milestone, ending the first emergency declaration made on January 30, 2020, before Covid-19 had even been given a name.
According to the WHO, since the declaration of the global health emergency status, at least 765,222,932 people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, and 6,921,614 people have died. These numbers may even be higher since not all cases are recorded.
In a press conference, the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that his team had analyzed Covid-19 data for the past year to determine the appropriate time to lower the level of alertness.
He explained that the pandemic has been on a downward trend for over a year, with population immunity increasing through vaccination and infection. Therefore, based on WHO’s assessment, most countries can return to the pre-Covid-19 era.
The announcement of the end of the pandemic status is a significant step towards normalcy, but it does not mean that the fight against Covid-19 is over. The government and the public must remain vigilant and continue to take precautions to prevent a resurgence of the virus.