The head of the World Health Organization is issuing a new warning that cities worldwide could return to strict lockdowns and social distancing restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic if precautions to ease the measures are not followed correctly.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday outlined steps that countries need to follow before restrictions are lifted in an effort to prevent a resurgence of the virus.
“The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully and in a phased approach,” Mr. Tedros said during a virtual briefing.
Experts and health officials for weeks have been advising countries to lift restrictions in phases to monitor the impacts of the change as the virus continues to spread in certain areas.
He explained that the COVID-19 pandemic “will eventually recede but there can be no going back to business as usual.”
Some of the necessary steps to eventually return to normal include health system preparedness and surveillance controls, Mr. Tedros said.
Nearly 3.7 people around the world have contracted COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. More than 258,000 have died and 1,210,440 have recovered. The world population currently stands at 7.8 billion.