A strong warning coming from the director general of the World Health Organization on Wednesday as countries emerge from lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus.
[TEDROS] "The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully and in a phased approach" During the WHO’s news conference, the Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also outlined six criteria that the organization recommends countries consider before taking steps to reopen, which includes signs of cases declining and ensuring that health systems are in place to detect, isolate, and treat new cases as they emerge.
These WHO guidelines come as government-ordered lockdowns have become increasingly unpopular as countries suffer rising unemployment and economic activity grinds to a halt.
Some countries, like Germany, Spain and Italy have started to relax restrictions, while U.S. President Donald Trump has said his focus is on opening up his country again.
[TRUMP ON MAY 5] "We have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon." Tedros has come under fire from the Trump administration for his handling of the outbreak, but he said that he would conduct an assessment of the WHO's actions when the pandemic recedes.
[TEDROS] "I call on the world to focus on fighting the fire.
Because fighting while fire is raging, I think our focus should not be divided.
And we should really focus on fighting the fire and saving lives." Tedros continues to defend the WHO's record on warning about the potential for human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, saying it informed the world in the first half of January.