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COVID-19 global health emergency will hopefully end next year, WHO chief says. But ‘the burden of post-COVID condition is only likely to increase’

The World Health Organization is hopeful that the COVID-19 will no longer be a global health emergency as of next year, the organization’s chief said Wednesday.

The criteria for ending the emergency status will be discussed when the WHO’s COVID-19 emergency committee meets in January, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference in Geneva.

“Of course, this virus will not go away,” he said. “It’s here to stay, and all countries will need to learn to manage it alongside other respiratory illnesses including influenza and RSV, both of which are now circulating intensely in many countries.”

But as the world looks to end this emergency, we still need to understand how it began,” Ghebreyesus said, urging China to “share the data and conduct the studies that we have requested, to better understand the origins of the virus.”

“As I have said many times, all hypotheses remain on the table,” he added.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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