The coronavirus that started in China late last year still dominates the world. After a few weeks of lockdowns to curb the spread of this highly contagious virus, some countries have started to relax the restriction.
It started in China, where the Wuhan, which was the epicenter of the virus, was reopened to the public. This week it was reported that more than 100 million travelers visited the top attractions in the country.
Also, in the country that was first report the outbreak, most of its businesses are now operating as usual.
In the United States, which is now the hotspot of the coronavirus with over 1,327,320 confirmed positive cases and 78,829 related deaths and which has seen lockdown imposed in some of its states, hairdressers, nail salons and shopping centers have been resumed.
In Italy, families separated under the strict rules of physical distance can be reunited, and in Spain, after seven weeks in lockdown, people are allowed to go outside to play sports.
Elsewhere, in Germany churches, museums and some schools have been reopened, and in Nigeria, whose cities Abuja and Lagos have been closed for about a month, have been reopened and the streets are now congested with cars and minibuses.
The countries of the world are making the move, even in the face of the ongoing rise in COVID-19, only for the sake of the economy, which is rapidly declining faster than what was witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Amid various mitigation measures imposed by different nations around the world, millions of jobs have been lost and the specter of unrest and hunger has increased.
However, without a vaccine or a cure or any trace of it, even after five months, there may be a risk of loosening some of the restrictions. Even some countries among those who relax mitigation measures cannot claim that they have done extensive testing to identify and isolate the cases, and their leaders gamble in a step that could lead to a new increase in infections and deaths.
A professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Dr. Annelise Wilder-Smith said that we are new territory. He added that administrations must weigh between the effects of COVID-19 and the negative effects of closures on society, including declining economic, social and particularly psychological concerns.
The criteria published by the WHO must be observed in order for any country to relax its lockdowns. However, researchers from the University of Oxford in the UK said that no country fully met these criteria.
The WHO said that in order for easing, a country must first ensure that the transmission is controlled. It has fully tested, isolated and treated each case and tracked all contacts. In special environments such as healthcare facilities or nursing homes, there should be no risk of infection.
Preventive measures should also be taken in places such as workplaces, schools and other important high-traffic locations, and communities should be fully trained, committed and empowered to adapt to the new standard. No country has fully met these criteria, and so it is not yet time to lift the lockdowns.
Archie Fowler was born and raised in Cleveland. As a Reporter, Archie has contributed to several online publications including City Visitor Publications and Quantum Grafix. In regards to academics, Archie has got a Post Graduation Degree in Department Of Business from Cleveland State University. As a Reporter for Chroniclex Archie Covers World Topics.