The World Health Organization has urged “extreme caution” for countries considering lifting COVID-19 restrictions, warning that high vaccination rates would not stop transmission of the virus from increasing.
The UN health agency urged governments not to squander hard-won gains and return to scenes of overwhelmed hospitals and exhausted health workers.
Asked about England’s plans to ditch most of its coronavirus restrictions from July 19, WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said: “I would urge extreme caution in the complete lifting of public health and social measures at this time, because there are consequences for that.”
WHO figures show that globally, after a decline in newly reported cases for seven consecutive weeks, there was a slight increase in new cases in the past two weeks.
Cases jumped 30 percent in the WHO’s European region over the past week.
European countries have administered 70 vaccine doses per 100 inhabitants, according to AFP figures.