Any premature lifting of restrictions imposed to control the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a fatal resurgence of the new coronavirus, the World Health Organization warned Friday.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while some states were considering ways to ease the restrictions which have placed around half of humanity under some form of lockdown, doing so too quickly could be dangerous.
“I know that some countries are already planning the transition out of stay-at-home restrictions. WHO wants to see restrictions lifted as much as anyone,” he told a virtual press conference in Geneva.
“At the same time, lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence. The way down can be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly.
“WHO is working with affected countries on strategies for gradually and safely easing restrictions.”
Tedros spelled out six factors that should be considered before restrictions could be safely eased.
He said that transmission would have to be controlled; sufficient public health services made available; outbreak risks in care homes minimised; preventative measures imposed in workplaces and schools; virus importation risks managed; and communities made aware of and engaged in the transition.