- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The World Health Organization is warning nations against easing social restrictions and lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus, as several countries begin seeing a decline in new cases.

“One of the most important parts is not to let go of the measures too early in order not to have a fall back again,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said in a virtual press briefing Tuesday.

“It’s similar to being sick yourself. If you get out of bed too early and get running too early, you risk falling back and having complications,” he continued.

His comments come just days after China reopened several major tourist sites and parks over the weekend — bringing thousands of people gathered in Beijing and Huangshan mountain park — after seeing a significant drop in infection rates in recent weeks.

European countries including Italy and Spain — two of the hardest-hit countries in the region — have begun drawing up plans to ease some restrictions and lockdowns after consistent falls in fatality rates.

But some experts have cautioned that easing restrictions too soon could lead to a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

Global cases topped 1.36 million overnight, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, and deaths have exceeded 76,000.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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