NEW YORK: The world could face another potential wave of the coronavirus pandemic in coming days as several countries began to ease the lockdown restrictions imposed to mitigate the spread of deadly disease.
Yesterday, some European countries including Austria, Denmark, Spain and Italy announced relaxation in the shelter-in-place measures and allowed the limited movement on streets and in the markets.
“Without additional measures including greater support for health systems, ‘the premature lifting of physical distancing measures is likely to lead to an uncontrolled resurgence in COVID-19 transmission and an amplified second wave of cases’,” said the agency in an update to its strategic advice to world governments.
The Geneva-based UN health agency also advised the countries to ensure the safety of people and regular tests in order to maintain a record of possible positive cases.
“Countries should only start to ease restrictions on people’s movement once they are sure that transmission is controlled,” WHO spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris said.
She added: “The only way to do this is if you’ve got the ability to test for that virus and you’ve got the ability to track all the contacts of the people that you know who are currently infectious, so you’ve got the ability to separate those who are infected from those who are healthy.”
“Equally important is ensuring that national health systems were sufficiently supported to be able to cope with the number of new cases, the spokesperson added, with sufficient space and staff to “give your health workers a rest.”
Earlier: COVID-19: WHO issues criteria to lift lockdowns
World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier issued a six-point criteria for the countries in order to guide them before they lift lockdowns for COVID-19.
During a press briefing on Monday, the officials said that shelter-in-place restrictions were imposed in favor of protecting human health in the coronavirus crisis.
While addressing the briefing, Director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the countries should make the decisions based on protecting human health and the scientific knowledge about how the coronavirus is transmitted.
“We are all learning,” said Ghebreyesus, adding, “We can only act on what we know.”
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