BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

Coronavirus: Lift lockdowns only slowly and carefully, warns WHO

Comments
euronews_icons_loading
A cyclist is stopped by French police controlling the lockdown at La Baule in western France, Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.
A cyclist is stopped by French police controlling the lockdown at La Baule in western France, Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.   -   Copyright  Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP
Text size Aa Aa

Countries considering lifting lockdowns against COVID-19 should do so only slowly and "with control", the World Health Organization has warned.

"It cannot happen all at once," WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a daily news briefing.

"While COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up," he said.

Meanwhile French president Emmanuel Macron announced the country's nationwide lockdown would continue until 11 May.

Spain has been implementing a partial return to work in the country, in factories, offices and on construction sites. The country has reported more encouraging casualty figures and amid cautious optimism that the pandemic may be reaching its peak.

The UK has reported 717 more hospital deaths in 24 hours, taking the official COVID-19 total to 11,329. The actual figure is thought to be higher.

Key developments:

Follow all the latest updates in the blog below.

04.13.2020
22:19

New York's coronavirus death toll tops 10,000

New York's governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday the state had seen its death toll from coronavirus top 10,000 - only around a month since it registered its first fatality.
There were 671 new deaths on Sunday, the first time in a week the daily toll dipped below 700. But Cuomo said the count has been "basically flat at a horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow." New York has now reported 10,056 deaths since early March, with more than half of them in the past week.
"This virus is very good at what it does. It is a killer,'' Cuomo said during a state Capitol news briefing. Meanwhile, hospitals are still getting about 2,000 new patients a day, he added.
04.13.2020
21:23

Macron announces month-long extension to France's nationwide lockdown

Emmanuel Macron has announced a month-long extension to France's nationwide lockdown until May 11. The French President acknowledged the sacrifices already made but said France had to go further to save lives. The lockdown began on March 17 and was first renewed two weeks later. The period following May 11 would see a gradual easing of restrictions, Macron said, however they will continue in many walks of life until the summer at least.

"We must therefore continue our efforts and continue to apply the rules. The more they are respected, the more they will save lives. That's why the strictest lockdown must still carry on. Until Monday 11th May. During that period it's the only way to act effectively," he said. 
04.13.2020
19:56

Sweden defends its COVID-19 strategy

"We are doing a lot to fight this pandemic.

"That was the response of Sweden's minister for EU affairs, addressing criticism of the country's laissez-faire approach to tackling the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sweden, in contrast to its Nordic neighbours, has decided against implementing a country-wide lockdown.

The government has advised people to work from home where possible and avoid crowded places. But this is only advice. Systems are not in place formally to stop people from gathering together.

Read the full story here.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/13/we-do-a-lot-to-fight-this-pandemic-insists-sweden-s-eu-affairs-minister

04.13.2020
18:32

UK: Raab thanks public for 'saving lives'

At the UK government’s daily coronavirus briefing, foreign secretary Dominic Raab paid tribute to the public for staying home and “saving lives”.

And he pleaded for people to continue following the guidelines. “We’ve come too far, we’ve lost too many loved ones and we’ve sacrificed too much to ease up now,” he added.

Asked why there is no daily death toll announced by the government for people dying outside of hospital, the government said those figures are released by the Office for National Statistics, but are delayed.

Currently the daily number released by the government - today 717 - only covers those who have died in hospital, while those who have died from COVID-19 in care homes, at home, or anywhere else, are not included.

This means the UK’s current total of 11,329 is not a true reflection of the number who have died in the country.

The UK is currently “going through the peak of the crisis” Dominic Raab said, insisting the current social distancing measures must be continued until evidence suggests it is time to relax them.

But he didn’t give an answer as to what the plan would be when that time came. It’s too early to talk about that, he told reporters.

04.13.2020
18:17

Virus death toll tops 10,000 in New York

New York’s death toll from coronavirus topped 10,000, with hospitals still seeing 2,000 new patients a day, AP reports, citing Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“This virus is very good at what it does. It is a killer,” he said during a news briefing.

The state tallied 671 new deaths on Sunday. It was the first time in a week daily toll dipped below 700. Still, the governor noted people are still dying at a “horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow.”

New York City and state officials have pleaded with the federal government to provide widespread testing in order to move to a containment phase in the coronavirus outbreak.

“If the president of the United States or anyone else wants a recovery — and we all want it, right? But if you’re serious about it, you can’t do it without widespread testing,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a City Hall briefing Monday.

04.13.2020
18:10

Trump says he'll decide on easing guidelines, not governors

Donald Trump has warned that it is his role as US President to decide when to ease social distancing guidelines, not state governors.

"A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!" he tweeted.

Some governors and local leaders are concerned that Trump's desire to get the US economy back to normal as soon as possible will cost lives and prolong the coronavirus outbreak.

04.13.2020
17:55

More on the WHO briefing:

Dr Tedros said the coronavirus outbreak was "ten times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic" and had a fast transmission from person-to-person.

"That means control measures must be lifted slowly and with control."

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme added that it was very important that countries in Europe did not ease lockdown restrictions in the same manner "all at once".

04.13.2020
17:38

Lift lockdowns only slowly and carefully, warns WHO

Countries considering lifting lockdowns against COVID-19 should do so only slowly and "with control", the World Health Organization has warned.

"It cannot happen all at once," WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a daily news briefing.

"While COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up," he said.

"Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including significant capacity for contact tracing."

Dr Tedros added that western-style lockdowns in poorer countries may not be practical.

"Many poor people, migrants and refugees are already living in overcrowded conditions with few resources & little access to health care," he added. "How do you survive a lockdown when you depend on your daily labor to eat?"

04.13.2020
17:32

'We do a lot to fight this pandemic,' insists Sweden's EU Affairs Minister

Sweden has so far resisted the temptation to implement a country-wide lockdown in order to contain contagion from COVID-19. 
The country's Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren defended the strategy to Euronews on Monday, saying: "I think we do a lot to fight this pandemic."
"We do it with a combination of laws, of course. We have forbidden the universities and schools to continue with the education; we have forbidden visitors to visit the homes of the elderly; we've really encouraged everyone over 70-years-old to stay at home; we encourage everyone who can, to work from home.
"I'm saying that the evaluation of what every country has been doing, must be monitored after we know at the end of the crisis," he added.
Read his comments here
04.13.2020
17:22

The lockdown situation across Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce a second extension to the country's lockdown during his televised address on Monday evening (20:00 CET).
It comes after Italy's premier, Guiseppe Conte, extended confinement measures to at least May 3. 
Most European countries have imposed lockdowns to various degrees to combat the spread of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus. Here's a recap of measures imposed by individual member states.
French gendarmes control a vehicle in Ustaritz, southwestern France, Thursday, March 19, 2020. - Copyright AP Photo/Bob Edme