The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of accelerated transmission of Covid-19, as countries ease lockdown too fast, adding that “opening up” will leave a lot of room for infections.
Addressing journalists during his routine virtual press briefings on Monday, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said the pandemic was “speeding up” despite measures put in place to suppress transmission.
He said some countries were beginning to confirm more cases as they open up their economies and societies.
“The measures have been successful in slowing the spread of the virus, but they have not completely stopped it,” said Dr Ghebreyesus.
“Some countries are now experiencing a resurgence of cases as they start to re-open their economies and societies.
“Most people remain susceptible. The virus still has a lot of room to move.”
Dr Ghebreyesus said while everyone was looking forward to getting on with their lives, the pandemic was far from over, with evidence of a global speed-up in infections.
WHO believes that although a vaccine was a long-term tool to combat the virus, all countries should focus on empowering communities with safety measures that include physical distancing and basic hygiene.
Chief Co-ordinator of the National Response to Covid-19 in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva, said while cases of local transmissions were still low, people should not be complacent, adding that the coming weeks could be defining.
But she called for calm despite the surging numbers, and reaffirmed the need to continue observing preventive measures put in place by Government, which include maintaining physical distance whenever possible, limiting unnecessary travel and practicing basic hygiene standards.
“We knew the numbers were going to rise, the question was when and how,” said Dr Mahomva.