Hyderabad: As COVID-19 positive cases across the world breach the two million mark, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued six new criteria for the countries planning to lift social and economic restrictions.

Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO said, “Some countries are considering when they can lift restrictions, while others are considering when to impose them. In both cases these decisions should give primacy to health of human beings.”

The six criteria he layed out are is transmission of COVID-19 is under control, whether systems to test are in place, facilities to isolate and treat every patient are on place, including the manpower to trace patient’s contacts. The country should also keep a tab on risks of outbreak in hospitals and nursing homes and see if they have been minimized.

To lift the restrictions he said, “Preventive measures should be in place at workplaces, schools and other essential areas, regularly visited by people.” While the last two criteria are to see whether the risk of spread of the virus from foreign countries is under check and communities should be fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the new norm.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday announced extension of the lockdown till May 3, in order to contain the spread of virus. During his message to the nation, he also said, cities which don’t record new hotspots will be allowed to carry some economically important activities. On April 20 these cities will be assessed, he added.

According to the WHO, globally cases have breached the two million mark and there have been 1,30,531 deaths as of April 15. The Union health ministry database pegs the total number of confirmed cases in India at 11, 439.

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