As countries are easing the restrictions that were imposed in wake of the outbreak of deadly Coronavirus, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned against it. In a virtual briefing in Geneva, he said that the countries should be 'extremely careful' and should remove lockdown in a phased manner. He warned that if precautions are not taken then the situation may worsen and they might have to go back to complete lockdown. Moreover, he said that even if COVID recedes, there are no chances of getting back to 'business as usual'.
The WHO chief in his briefing also listed a series of measures that must be taken ahead of ease of restrictions. He said that surveillance control and health system preparedness should be in place even as the restrictions are eased.
"The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually recede, but there can be no going back to business as usual. We cannot continue to rush to fund panic but let preparedness go by the wayside. As we work on responding to this pandemic, we must also work harder to prepare for the next one. Now is an opportunity to lay the foundations for resilient health systems around the world, which has been ignored for too long. That includes systems to prepare, prevent, and respond to emerging pathogens. If we learn anything from COVID-19, it must be that investing in health now will save lives later," he said.
While the Donald Trump administration has repeatedly blamed WHO for 'China-centric approach' in its handling of COVID, it had also halted the funding to the UN body. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Trump administration knows enough to be confident that the deadly coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in China's Wuhan. Earlier Trump also warned China of 'consequences' if it is found that the XI-Jinping led country knowingly released the virus. However, WHO has maintained that US State Secretary's comment over the origin of the novel coronavirus was “speculative” and that it is not biased in its approach. Dr Tedros has also said that he looks forward to working with the US again.
The United States and Australia have been demanding an independent investigation into the origins of coronavirus outbreak, especially after claims, though unsubstantiated, that it originated from a Wuhan laboratory. As demand for an inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak gained momentum, the WHO reportedly said that it is hoping to get an invite from China to take part in its investigations.