New Delhi, March 18: Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed more than seven million deaths globally, may likely end up being as public health emergency of international concern' this year and pose a seasonal flu threat, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

"I'm confident that this year we will be able to say that Covid-19 is over as a public health emergency of international concern," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing. COVID-19 Origin Mystery: Coronavirus May Have Originated From Animals, New Data Points to Raccoon Dogs in Wuhan Market Where First Human Case Was Reported.

"And I think we're coming to that point where we can look at Covid-19 in the same way we look at seasonal influenza," he added. The WHO chief said that Covid will continue to pose a threat to human health. It will turn into a "virus that will continue to kill, but a virus that is not disrupting our society or disrupting our hospital system". He added that the virus may become more transmissible but not cause severe disease. Covid-19 was marked as pandemic on March 11, 2020.

"We declared a global health emergency to spur countries to take decisive action, but not all countries did," he said on Friday. "Three years later, there are almost seven million reported deaths from Covid-19, although we know that the actual number of deaths is much higher." COVID-19 Induced Face Blindness: Study Says Infection Can Cause Problems in Recognising Faces and Navigation.

He noted that for the first time, the weekly number of reported deaths over the past four weeks has been lower than the time the virus was declared a pandemic. Yet more than 5,000 deaths have been reported per week. It is "too many for a disease that can be prevented and treated", the WHO chief said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 18, 2023 04:54 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website