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WHO warns govts against hasty lifting of COVID-19 restrictions 

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The World Health Organisation, WHO, has cautioned governments around the world against easing COVID-19 restrictions too soon, saying countries that did so risked paying a heavy price for rushing back to normality.

This is coming amid growing concerns of the spread of new COVID-19 variants.

The Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Michael Ryan, who gave the warning at a press briefing on Monday, said a new wave of infections was imminent even as he said for much of the world, the pandemic was just getting started.
“All of the countries of the Americas, we still have nearly one million cases a week. And the same in Europe, with half a million cases a week. It’s not like this thing has gone away. It isn’t over,” Ryan said.

Last week, the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, had warned of the speed and scale of the continent’s third wave which she described as being like nothing we’ve seen before.
“COVID-19 cases are doubling every three weeks, compared to every four weeks at the start of the second wave,” Moeti told a briefing on Thursday.
The warnings come amid renewed concerns over the COVID-19 Delta variant, first detected in India in April. The new variant is considered to be the most transmissible variant yet has now spread to nearly 100 countries worldwide.

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Experts say more than 80 per cent of a country’s population would need to be inoculated in order to contain it – a challenging target even for nations with advanced vaccination programmes. The variant is now responsible for more than 90 per cent of all new infections in the United Kingdom and about 30 per cent in the United States.

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