Lifting coronavirus lockdown measures too early could spark a “deadly resurgence” in infections, the World Health Organization chief has warned, reports BBC.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries should be cautious about easing restrictions, even as some struggle with the economic impact.
Europe’s worst hit countries, Spain and Italy, are both relaxing some measures, while their lockdowns continue.
Globally there are 1.6 million cases of coronavirus and 101,000 deaths.
Tedros said no country was immune from the pandemic, which was spreading panic around the world. Cases have recently been found in some parts of Japan with no known links to other outbreaks.
“From this pandemic we have to try to learn…what the gaps are, this is a message even for the developed countries. Across the board you see a lack of preparedness of the public health system,” Tedros said.
“No country is immune. No country can claim it has a strong health system. We have to be really honest and assess and address this problem.”
Speaking at a virtual news conference in Geneva, Dr Tedros said there had been a “welcome slowing” of the epidemics in some European countries.
He said the WHO was working with governments to form strategies for easing restrictions, but that this should not be done too soon.
“Lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence,” he said.
“The way down can be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly.”