The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Sunday that it no longer recommends economic lockdowns to fight the novel coronavirus, effectively reversing its position.
Back in July, after the first wave of coronavirus infections tapered off, the WHO warned that countries may have to return to full lockdown later in the summer in order to avoid or stall the second wave of COVID-19. At the time, CBS News reports, the WHO was also cautioning countries to release lockdown measures slowly, and only when data clearly showed a decline in confirmed cases.
Now, though, the WHO is warning countries facing the feared second wave to “stop using lockdowns as your primary control method,” per News.co.au.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” the group’s envoy, Dr. David Nabarro, told world health leaders and media on Sunday. “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
The WHO has never acknowledged a change in policy on the subject, but its envoy now says that complete economic lockdowns, like the kind occasionally proposed by American lawmakers unsatisfied with the pandemic’s trajectory in the United States, have dire economic consequences and could be responsible for increasing poverty. Read more…