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WHO says countries may have to return to total lockdown

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 10, 2020
Coronavirus cases continue to climb, with over 12 million now reported worldwide.
Michael Ryan
Dr.   Michael Ryan
Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said at a press conference Friday that countries may have to go into lockdown again or for the first time.

Topics: WHO

"We all want to avoid whole countries going back into total lockdown, that is not a desire that anybody has," he said. "But there may be situations in which that is the only option."

Ryan called whether or not mass lockdowns will again be required the "fundamental question" facing every community, and every society.

"Once lockdowns were ended there was always the risk that the disease could bounce back," he said.

The WHO has advised countries to open slowly, paying close attention to their data to move cautiously between different phases of reopening. Ryan said countries should be "ready to move backwards or forwards" depending on the numbers they are seeing.

"Accept the fact that in our current situation it is very unlikely that we can eradicate or eliminate this virus," he said, noting that this gives the virus an opportunity to reemerge.