‘Extreme vigilance’ needed to go back to work, schools after coronavirus lockdown: WHO

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Countries around the world have started to lift their coronavirus lockdowns, but they have to be extremely careful as they do it, according to the World Health Organization.

“Now we are seeing some hope as many countries exit these lockdowns,” Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, told an online news briefing, but he added that “extreme vigilance is required.”

“If the disease persists at a low level without the possibility to investigate clusters, there’s always the possibility that the virus takes off again.”

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WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the briefing Monday that measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 have been effective but costly.

“The good news is that there has been a great deal of success in slowing the virus and ultimately saving lives,” Tedros said.

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“However, such strong measures have come at a cost and we recognize the serious socio-economic impact of the lockdowns which have had a detrimental effect on many people’s lives. Therefore, to protect lives and livelihoods, a slow, steady lifting of lockdowns is key to stimulating economies while also keeping a vigilant eye on the virus so that control measures can be quickly implemented.”

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Figuring out how to get adults back to work and children back to school is key for any reopening plan.

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