Easing Lockdowns Should Be Done ‘Slow and Steady,’ WHO Says

Date: 2020-05-11 17:46:24

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The head of the World Health Organization said on Monday that lifting lockdowns in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus would have to be “slow and steady”, as he recognized the economic effect the restrictions were having worldwide.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the remarks as several countries emerged from lockdowns, facing the delicate balance of trying to restart battered economies without causing a second wave of infections.

Fears of infection spikes in countries that eased their restrictions have been borne out over the past few days in Germany, where new clusters were linked to three slaughterhouses; in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus started; and in South Korea, where one nightclub customer was linked to 85 new cases.

Yet all three countries had “systems in place to detect and respond to a resurgence in case”, Ghebreyesus stressed.

And while some countries have established robust tracing abilities, other countries, such as Britain, are far behind.

The global pandemic has sickened more than 4,1 million people, killed more than 283,000 worldwide, crippled economies and forced restrictions on the movement of millions of people in an effort to stop the virus from spreading further and overwhelming health care systems.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. But it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death for some people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

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