MEDIA STATEMENT

To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Saturday, 06 May 2023

Health Department welcomes WHO announcement on COVID-19

Pretoria: The Department of Health has noted an announcement by the World Health Organization that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

However, it is 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-mobidities.

The number of cases is far lower at the current moment than during the height of the pandemic, hence it is no longer viewed as a public health emergency.

The department, in line with WHO recommendations, continues to recommend vaccination especially for high routine health services and will continue to offer services aimed at preventing and treating COVID, including vaccination services.

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Mr Foster Mohale
Departmental Spokesperson
National Health Department
0724323792
Foster.mohale@health.gov.za

Mr Doctor Tshwale
Media Liaison Officer for Health Minister
National Health Department
063 657 8487
Doctor.Tshwale@health.gov.za