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The World Health Organization is urging caution from nations anxious to lift restrictions imposed on their citizens to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Speaking at the organization's regular news briefing from Geneva on Friday, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organization wants to see things return to normal as much as anyone, but he cautioned "the way down may be as dangerous as the way up" if not handled properly.
The leaders of several nations - the United States included - had, at one time, marked this weekend, the weekend of Easter observances, as the date when restrictions would be lifted. Most nations, however, have backed away from that, and some have even extended their lockdowns and shelter-in-place rules to the end of the month.
Tedros said the WHO is working with affected countries on strategies for gradually and safely easing their restrictions.
The general-director said the pandemic has exposed weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the health care systems of even the strongest nations.