Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

GENEVA: While countries have started lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday stressed that a slow, steady lifting of Covid-19 lockdowns is the key to economies and control of the virus, reported Xinhua news agency.

“A slow, steady lifting of lockdowns is key to both stimulating economies, while also keeping a vigilant eye on the virus so that control measures can be quickly implemented if an upswing in case is identified,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Speaking at a virtual press conference from Geneva, the WHO chief said that the stringent lockdown measures have resulted in “a great deal of success in slowing the virus and ultimately saving lives”.

However, he added that releasing lockdowns is both complex and difficult, and signs of the challenges have already appeared over the weekend.

According to the WHO chief, over the weekend, in the Republic of Korea, bars and clubs were shut as a confirmed case led to many contacts being traced. Germany has also reported an increase in cases since an easing of restrictions, he added.

According to him, early studies reflect that a relatively low percentage of the population has antibodies to Covid-19, which means most of the population is still susceptible to the virus.

“Until there is a vaccine, the comprehensive package of measures is our most effective set of tools to tackle the virus,” he stressed. – Bernama