On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Two years on, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic remains elusive.
More Questions Than Answers
It is time to reflect on vigilant efforts and fill crucial niches in answering some pressing questions:
- When is a pandemic officially over?
- When does WHO lift the Covid PHEIC?
- What’re the scientific metrics beyond social and political determinants?
- What’re collective cognition of the public?
- Should China end zero-COVID policy?
- Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have functionally declared an end to the pandemic in their countries.
- Poland, Slovakia, Iceland, Switzerland have eased masking recommendations. And the U.S. CDC eased masking recommendations for some 70% of U.S. residents.
- China and New Zealand are pursuing zero COVID-19 strategies.
- What’re the determinants from COVID-19 pandemic to endemicity?
- Will Omicron end the pandemic?
- A known winter burden of ill health (the average annual numbers of hospitalization and deaths from influenza and pneumonias) can be treated as a benchmark for COVID-19 endemicity?
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- C. Pagel, “Back to normal” is not enough. Science. 375, 1069–1069 (2022).
- C. J. L. Murray, COVID-19 will continue but the end of the pandemic is near. Lancet. 399, 417–419 (2022).
- P. V. Markov, A. Katzourakis, N. I. Stilianakis, Antigenic evolution will lead to new SARS-CoV-2 variants with unpredictable severity. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. (2022), doi:10.1038/s41579-022-00722-z.
- J.-M. Chen, Y.-Q. Chen, China can prepare to end its zero-COVID policy. Nat. Med. (2022), doi:10.1038/s41591-022-01794-3.
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