Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you make the most of staying home.
Visit the hub

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Feb. 24, 2020.

Denis Balibouse/Reuters

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday that countries emerging from restrictions to halt the new coronavirus must proceed “extremely carefully” or risk a rapid rise in new cases.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries needed to ensure they had adequate measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease such as tracking systems and quarantine provision.

“The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully and in a phased approach,” he said at a virtual briefing in Geneva.

Story continues below advertisement

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove supported his concerns about the disease, which has infected 3.71 million globally and killed more than 258,000 people, according to a Reuters tally.

“If lockdown measures are lifted too quickly, the virus can take off,” Dr. Van Kerkhove told the briefing.

Government-ordered lockdowns have become increasingly unpopular as countries suffer rising unemployment and economic activity grinds to a halt.

The eurozone economy will contract by a record 7.7 per cent this year because of the pandemic, while U.S. private employers laid off 20.2 million workers last month as business shut their doors.

Some countries, such as Germany, Spain and Italy have started to relax restrictions, while U.S. President Donald Trump has said his focus is on opening up the country again.

Soccer authorities have also started to consider how they can salvage interrupted competitions, with Germany’s Bundesliga getting permission to restart later this month.

Dr. Tedros, who has come under fire mainly from the Trump administration for his handling of the outbreak, said that he would conduct an assessment of the WHO’s actions when the pandemic recedes.

“While the fire is raging I think our focus should not be divided,” he said.

Dr. Tedros also defended the WHO’s record on warning about the potential for human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, saying it informed the world in the first half of January.

The Geneva-based body has been accused of being “China-centric” by the U.S., a top donor that has cut off funding to the body.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed his criticism of China on Wednesday, blaming the country for the deaths the outbreak has caused and demanding Beijing share information about the outbreak.

The WHO, which is preparing another mission to China to discover the animal origin of the virus, treated the country no differently to any of its 194 members, Dr. Tedros said.

Story continues below advertisement

“The rule we have in WHO and other UN agencies is that when a member state reports we post as is,” Dr. Tedros said.

“The most important thing is our guidance before, during and after 14 January included the likelihood of human to human transmission that helped countries to prepare," he added. “This is the whole truth.”

Amanda Antoine, manager of a medical clinic in a small Ontario town, was forced to self-isolate when she tested positive for the coronavirus. She shares her debilitating COVID-19 symptoms and the impact of her illness on her family and her workplace. The Globe and Mail

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies