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WHO sets 6 Conditions For Ending A Coronavirus Lockdown

For the billions of people now living under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown orders, experts from the World Health Organization have new guidance: We should be ready to "change our behaviors for the foreseeable future," they say, as the agency updates its advice on when to lift COVID-19 lockdown orders.

The question of when to ease shutdowns is a hot topic, as economic output is stalled in many countries — including the U.S., now the epicenter of the global pandemic.

"One of the main things we've learned in the past months about COVID-19 is that the faster all cases are found, tested, isolated & care for, the harder we make it for the virus to spread," said WHO Direct0r-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus via Twitter as the guideline was released. "This principle will save lives & mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic."

Any government that wants to start lifting restrictions, said Tedros of WHO, must first meet six conditions:

  1. Disease transmission is under control

  2. Health systems are able to "detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact"

  3. Hot spot risks are minimized in vulnerable places, such as nursing homes

  4. Schools, workplaces and other essential places have established preventive measures

  5. The risk of importing new cases "can be managed"

  6. Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal

The worldwide number of COVID-19 cases is quickly approaching the 2 million mark, including more than 120,000 people who have died, according to a COVID-19 dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering.

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