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COVID-19 Lockdown: WHO Warns Buhari, Trump, Others


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The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned countries to take adequate precaution before lifting coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns.

Speaking during an online briefing in Manila, WHO Regional Director for Western Pacific, Takeshi Kasai, warned that there could be a resurgence of infections if current restrictions were relaxed too soon.

He noted that lockdown measures have so far proven effective in reducing transmission of the highly infectious COVID-19 disease while also easing the burden on the overstretched health system.

“This is going to be a long battle. This is not the time to relax,” Kasai said.

According to the WHO Director, there is a need to be ready for “a new way of living that strikes the right balance between the measures to keep the virus in check and enable vital parts of the economy and society to function.”

He called on the private sector to adopt new ways of working, such as establishing staff to work from home where possible and other measures to reduce the risk of infections in the workplace.

“For the government, this means preparing for the worst, having a system that works in every corner of the country to detect and care for people in case of large-scale community transmission,” he said.

Kasai said COVID-19 had upended millions of peoples’ lives and had caused a major economic impact on the world.

He said until a vaccine is found, the process of adapting to the COVID-19 epidemic will have to become a new normal.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to doing this but WHO strongly urges that decisions on measures be guided by public health principles, the lifting of lockdowns, and other measures that need to be done gradually.

“If restrictions are relaxed or lifted before the strong system is in place to identify, isolate and care for this sick, and trace and quarantine their contacts, this will likely lead to a resurgence of diseases.

“As long as the new Coronavirus is circulating, no country is safe from potentially overwhelming outbreaks,” he said.