NEW YORK POST – Lifting coronavirus lockdown measures too early could trigger a “deadly resurgence” of the contagious pathogen, the head of the World Health Organization warned Friday.
Despite the devastating economic impact of the lockdown — and an apparent “plateau” of infections in recent weeks — the WHO’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised the leaders of countries to proceed with caution, according to BBC News.
“Lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence,” he said during a virtual news conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The way down can be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly,” he added, referencing the infection “curve” in some areas.
His warning comes as Europe’s worst-hit countries, Spain and Italy, begun easing restrictions this week by letting some people head back to work.
Leaders in Spain are preparing to allow some non-essential employees back on the job in fields such as construction and factory production on Monday, according to the BBC.
In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended the national lockdown until May 3 but will allow a small proportion of non-essential businesses that were previously closed, such as bookshops and children’s clothing shops, to reopen on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, China ended its more than 10-week-long lockdown of Wuhan — the city where the coronavirus is believed to have originated before it spread to 185 countries across the globe — this week.
The deadly bug has infected more than 1.6 million people worldwide, as of Friday afternoon, and has caused more than 100,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
COVID-19 — the illness caused by the novel coronavirus — is now the No. 1 cause of death in the US, where it is killing more people every day than heart disease or cancer, according to a report.