Pretoria – The Department of Health says it has “noted” the announcement by the World Health Organization that Covid-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
On Friday, WHO declared that Covid was no longer a global health emergency.
Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus was at pains to point out his announcement did not mean Covid-19 was no longer a threat.
“That does not mean Covid-19 is over as a global health threat,” he said, adding he wouldn’t hesitate to reconvene experts to reassess the situation should Covid-19 “put our world in peril.”
National Health Department Spokesperson Foster Mohale said Saturday that it was important to clarify that this doesn’t mean the pandemic is over,
“The fact of the matter is the pandemic remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality especially in high-risk populations such as the elderly and people living with co-morbidities.”
Mohale explained that the number of cases was far lower at the moment than during the height of the pandemic, hence it was no longer viewed as a “public health emergency”.
Mohale said, in line with WHO recommendations, the department continues to recommend vaccination, especially for high routine health services.
The department will continue to offer services aimed at preventing and treating Covid, including vaccination services.