Thursday, 04 Jun 2020

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WHO warns against rushed end to coronavirus lockdowns

No icon Amar Doctor

Health Desk- 07 May 2020: Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday warned that countries emerging from restrictions to halt the new coronavirus must proceed "extremely carefully" or risk a rapid rise in new cases.

The WHO DG said countries needed to ensure they had adequate measures to control the spread of the Covid-19 respiratory disease like tracking systems and quarantine provision.

"The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully and in a phased approach," he said at a virtual briefing in Geneva.

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove supported his concerns about the disease which has infected 3.71 million globally and killed more than 258,000 people, according to a Reuters tally.

Government-ordered lockdowns have become increasingly unpopular as countries suffer rising unemployment and economic activity grinds to a halt.

The eurozone economy will contract by a record 7.7% this year because of the pandemic, while US private employers laid off 20.2 million workers last month as business shut their doors.

Some countries, like Germany, Spain, and Italy have started to relax restrictions, while the US President Trump has said his focus is on opening up the country again.