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WHO: It’s Time For Countries To End COVID-19 Induced Lockdowns

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has backed calls for nations to put an end to lockdown that were put in place to control the spread of the deadly Coronovirus.

Leading this call was Tedros Adhanom (pictured), Director General-WHO during a global media briefing yesterday, where he recognised that after eight months into the pandemic, World Health Organisation understands that people are tired and yearn to get on with their lives.

“We understand that countries want to get their societies and economies going again. That’s what WHO wants too. Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions are something that some countries felt they needed to do to take pressure off their health systems. But they have taken a heavy toll on livelihoods, economies and mental health,” Tedros said.

“WHO fully supports efforts to re-open economies and societies. We want to see children returning to school and people returning to the workplace – but we want to see it done safely,” he added.

Tedros however warned nations not to pretend the pandemic is over, saying that coronavirus spreads easily, it can be fatal to people of all ages, and most people remain susceptible.

“If countries are serious about opening up, they must be serious about suppressing transmission and saving lives.This may seem like an impossible balance, but it’s not. It can be done, and it has been done. But it can only be done if countries are in control of transmission.The more control countries have over the virus, the more they can open up,” said Tedros.

Although President Yoweri Museveni opened up sectors of the economy after 3months in lockdown, places of worship, educational institutions, entertainment places and some border districts are still under lockdown in Uganda.

The National Taskforce on COVID-19 will meet Museveni today to agree on the way forward and it’s hoped with the latest development, a number of institutions maybe reopened.

The World Health Organisation boss however warned member states against opening up fully their economies without having control measures, saying this would be a recipe for disaster.

Tedros announced four guidelines that countries can follow when opening up including calls to avoid crowds, reduce deaths by protecting vulnerable groups, individuals taking steps to protect themselves and others as well as calls to find, isolate test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine contacts.

“In many countries, we have seen explosive outbreaks linked to gatherings of people at stadiums, nightclubs, places of worship and in other crowds. Preventing these amplifying events is essential, but there are ways to hold gatherings safely in some places,” he said, adding: “Decisions about how and when to allow gatherings of people must be taken with a risk-based approach, in the local context.”

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