Countries coming out of lockdowns and countries with low levels of Covid-19 will still experience potential clusters and outbreaks of the disease, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme, said on Thursday.
Ryan explained during a news conference that even in countries that have brought down the virus "under extreme control," such as Germany and Spain, "there's always a chance that the disease can be imported or the disease can spread from unseen clusters."
Ryan said that rather than implementing widespread lockdowns, governments should be "more precise" in how they contain an outbreak.
"Instead of restricting everyone, we try and go after the virus. And we try and identify where the virus is, and then specifically and surgically, in the sense, excise the virus from the community by minimizing the impact on the lives and livelihoods of the community," Ryan said.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of its emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said that if outbreaks "are dealt with swiftly" through testing and contact tracing, "you have an opportunity to really put that fire out quickly."