Today, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 emergency committee will vote on whether to recommend that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus terminate the designation that COVID-19 is Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), which WHO issued on January 30, 2020.
The results of the committee vote will be announced on Monday, January 30.
Under the International Health Regulations (IHR) international treaty, a public health emergency of international concern can be declared during a health event that meets three criteria: it is serious, sudden, unusual, or unexpected; it has the potential to spread across the globe; and it could require a coordinated international response. A PHEIC declaration is meant to raise alarm about a public health event and allows the WHO to issue formal, non-binding recommendations.
The final decision about when to terminate the COVID-19 PHEIC will be up to Director-General Tedros who generally, but not always, follows guidance from the WHO emergency committee.