THE government of the United States said it told Congress that it will end the national emergency and public health declarations for addressing COVID-19.
Both declarations are set to end on May 11, 2023, a little over three years after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared globally.
The decision was arrived at as the world is slowly returning to normalcy and the disease slowly moving to an endemic stage.
“To be clear, continuation of these emergency declarations until May 11 does not impose any restriction at all on individual conduct with regard to COVID-19,” the administration said in its letter to Congress. “They do not impose mask mandates or vaccine mandates. They do not restrict school or business operations. They do not require the use of any medicines or tests in response to cases of COVID-19.”
However, the decision to end the health emergencies will also signal an abrupt shift in the US medical care system, particularly on hospitals and doctors, where higher rates for Medicare patients, including wider flexibility on bed capacity rules whenever there’s a surge provides sure benefits.
The impact on health care will also be significant. particularly on free COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests.