As the new coronavirus virus spread across the globe, an increasing number of countries have imposed extraordinary curbs on movement and social contact in a bid to contain the spread of the disease and prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. With economically-crippling lockdowns extended in country after country, governments have been pressed to ease restrictions on key businesses and industries.But with a vaccine at least a year away, the world faces an “uphill battle”, according to Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the United States-based Council on Foreign Relations. He said that any one country or region’s success in containing the disease was shaky so long as the pathogen continues to sicken people elsewhere.
Around the world, public health officials and religious leaders alike have warned people against violating the lockdowns and social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus, which has infected more than 1.6 million people, to come storming back. Authorities resorted to roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.In Italy, where Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on announced an extension of the country’s lockdown until May 3, officials employed helicopters, drones and stepped-up police checks to make sure residents did no slip out of their homes.
The confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded 100,000 worldwide, as the United Nations’ global health agency – the World Health Organization – warned governments against rolling back measures introduced to curb the spread of the pandemic. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the agency would like to see an easing, but cautioned that “lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence”.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES