WHO warns against lifting lockdown restrictions

With more countries considering lifting restrictions to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus, the World Health Organisation has warned against the hurried decisions against lifting the lockdowns and asked the governments to move with caution.

“The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully, and in a phased approach,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  said.

In his daily briefing, he said has put forth six criteria that the countries should follow while lifting the lockdown and other restrictions.  The surveillance should be made strong. The restrictions can be lifted if corona cases are declining and if transmission is controlled.

The respective governments should see that the health system capacities are in place to detect, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact. The countries should see that outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes. They should see that preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools and other places where people go. They should see importation risks could be managed. They should also ensure that the communities are fully educated and empowered to adjust to the “new norm”, the Director General said.

The WHO said that more than 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 and almost 250,000 deaths have now been reported.  The numbers are increasing every day.

The Health Organisation said that the number of cases in Western Europe was declining whereas more cases are reported every day from Africa, Eastern Europe, South-East Asia, Americas and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  said that every country and every region needed a tailored approach. However, he said that pandemic’s impact was far beyond the numbers of cases and deaths. He mentioned that the pandemic has caused severe impact on essential health services, including community-based health care.

The WHO has also urged countries to make use of telemedicine wherever possible. It also said that the countries should give preference to the most vulnerable members.


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