WHO Chief : Lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence

Lifting coronavirus lockdown measures too early could spark a "deadly resurgence" in infections, the World Health Organization chief has warned.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries should be cautious about easing restrictions, even as some struggle with the economic impact.

Speaking at a virtual news conference in Geneva, Dr Tedros said there had been a "welcome slowing" of the epidemics in some European countries.

He said the WHO was working with governments to form strategies for easing restrictions, but that this should not be done too soon.

"Lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence," he said.

"The way down can be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly."

Europe's worst hit countries, Spain and Italy, are both relaxing some measures, while their lockdowns continue. Spain recorded its lowest daily death toll in 17 days on Friday, with 605 people dying. The number of deaths in Italy rose by 570 on Friday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended the national lockdown until 3 May, however, a small proportion of businesses that have been shut since 12 March will be permitted to reopen on Tuesday.

Globally there are 1.7 million cases of coronavirus and 102,000 deaths.

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