During a World Health Organization (WHO) press conference on Friday, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said authorities should try to avoid “punishing” lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as many countries see a sharp rise in the number of infections.
“What we want to try to avoid – and sometimes it’s unavoidable and we accept that – but what we want to try and avoid is these massive lockdowns that are so punishing to communities, to society and to everything else,” he said.
Ryan stated countries should not just focus on restrictive measures, but also surveillance, COVID-19 testing, tracking and community education.
The top emergencies expert also said it was “sad” to see the number of COVID-19 cases rising again in Europe, and that governments must take decisive action to shut down transmission of the virus.
“There are no new answers. We know what we need to do,” Ryan told the news briefing, adding that Europe must be very careful with mass gatherings.
The WHO reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours led by a surge of infections in Europe, which is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the United States.
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