10, April 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a “deadly resurgence” of the new coronavirus if countries hurriedly lift the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the pathogen.
“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,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference in Geneva on Friday. “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.”
The WHO chief added that the organization was working with countries “on strategies for gradually and safely easing restrictions.”
The virus has infected more than 1.6 million people globally since it first emerged in China in December last year, according to an AFP tally. The number of deaths is rapidly approaching 100,000.
Meanwhile, Tedros welcomed signs that the spread of the virus was slowing in the worst-hit European countries of Italy, Spain, France, and Germany.
But he reported an “alarming acceleration” of the epidemic in some other countries, highlighting Africa.
“We are now seeing clusters of cases and community spread in more than 16 countries” in Africa, he said.
Africa’s poor healthcare systems have been a main concern for experts, who believe the epidemic could spread far greater in the continent than it has in many other places.