COVID Global Emergency Over but Risks Remain, Says China Health Official

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SHENZHEN (China) (Reuters) – While the World Health Organization has ended the global emergency status of COVID-19 virus, the virus is still harmful. China will continue to monitor the virus while increasing vaccinations for high-risk groups.

The WHO has ended the highest level of alert on COVID, which was declared by it in 2013, more than three-years after its initial declaration. It now says that countries should manage COVID along with other infectious disease.

Liang Wannian said that the COVID alert status is no longer in effect, but the impact of COVID can be controlled now, according to an interview published by CCTV on Saturday. Liang Wannian is the head of China's COVID Response Expert Panel under the National Health Commission.

Liang stated that China would continue to monitor COVID mutations, increase vaccinations for high-risk and key groups and improve COVID treatment capability.

China's zero tolerance policy for COVID was maintained long after the majority of countries had begun to experience the virus. It began to abandon this restrictive policy in late 2022.

China's top leaders announced a "decisive win" against COVID in February and claimed to have the lowest death rate in the world, although experts have questioned Beijing’s data.