Former President of Chile, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, has warned countries about moves to lift COVID-19 lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Bachelet, a former Minister of Health, and UN Human Rights High Commissioner issued the warning while speaking to newsmen from Geneva on Thursday.
She warned that the danger of a second wave of COVID-19 could cost many more lives if countries lift restrictions without proper plans, NAN reports.
Recognizing the socio-economic difficulties resulting from prolonged lockdowns, Bachelett said balancing the economic imperatives with the health demands of the COVID-19 response will be one of the most “defining experiences for all leaders and all governments”.
She said: “World leaders’ place in history will be decided by how well or how badly they perform over the coming months.
“If their response is based on the interests of a particular elite, causing Coronavirus to flare up again in other less privileged or marginalised communities, it will rebound on everyone.
“If an affected country comes out of lockdown too hastily, there is a danger that a second wave which will lead to loss of many more lives will be triggered sooner and more destructively than would otherwise be the case.”
She stressed that mishandling of the re-opening of societies could destroy the huge sacrifices made during the initial lockdown.
As of Thursday morning, more than 4.2 million people have been infected with Coronavirus globally with no fewer than 294,000 deaths recorded, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Bachelet further advised countries to adhere to WHO guidelines in relaxing movement restrictions and lockdowns.
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