WHO warns about dangers of premature lifting of COVID-19 restrictions

WHO warns about dangers of premature lifting of COVID-19 restrictions

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries on Friday to be cautious about lifting restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and voiced alarm it was taking hold in Africa.

The United Nations agency would like to see an easing, but at the same time "lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.

He said there had been a "welcome slowing" of epidemics in some European countries - Italy, Germany, Spain and France - but there had been an "alarming acceleration" elsewhere including community transmission in 16 countries of Africa.

Nearly 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 92,000 deaths have been reported to the Geneva-based agency, Tedros said.

Yemen reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday as aid groups braced for an outbreak in a country where war has shattered health systems and spread hunger and disease.