This is when restrictions will be lifted in Canada according to the World Health Organization
When will restrictions be lifted in Canada is a question many people have right now.
As the outbreak begins to slow in certain places and leaders cautiously eye plans to begin lifting restrictions, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released guidelines to outline exactly what needs to happen before that process can begin.
The new strategy includes a list of six criteria for countries to consider as they make decisions about lifting restrictions.
The first criteria is that transmission of the virus is under control, and it's difficult to know whether this is true for Canada due to a lack of testing.
Public health officials have continued to emphasize that it's difficult to know the full picture of the virus in Canada without sufficient testing, and it's likely that our numbers are skewed and not quite accurate.
The second requirement is that health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact.
Once again, the lack of testing in Canada means we are not yet there.
"We know that the #coronavirus can spread more easily in crowded environments like nursing homes.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 13, 2020
We know that early case-finding, testing, isolating caring for every case & tracing every contact is essential for stopping #COVID19 transmission"-@DrTedros
The third criteria is that outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes — something we know not to be true yet due to the countless outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes across the country and specifically in Quebec and Ontario.
These outbreaks are linked to almost half of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada so far, according to Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam.
Fourthly, the WHO says preventive measures must be in place in workplaces, schools and other places where it’s essential for people to go.
Because the majority of these public spaces remain closed amid lockdown measures nationwide, preventative measures have yet to be implemented in places other than essential stores and pharmacies.
Next, the risk of importing the disease from other countries must be managed. Canada has halted all non-essential international travel in an attempt to do this.
Finally, the WHO says communities must be fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the "new norm."
"Countries must balance between measures that address the mortality caused by #COVID19, and from other diseases due to overwhelmed health systems, as well as the social economic impacts"-@DrTedros #coronavirus— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 13, 2020
"While COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up," said Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a media briefing on COVID-19 earlier this week.
"That means control measures must be lifted slowly, and with control. It cannot happen all at once. Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including significant capacity for contact tracing," he continued
"Ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission."
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