PARIS (VINnews) — The International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday that countries in Europe and Asia need to proceed cautiously in removing lockdowns or they risk renewed coronavirus outbreaks.
The comments came after renewed outbreaks in Germany as it eased its lockdowns and as governments across the globe are balancing the damage being done to the economy against health risks.
The head of the IMF in Europe Poul Thomsen wrote in a publication with his Asian counterpart Chang Yong Rhee that “while reopening strategies differ, Europe appears to be reopening its economy earlier in the epidemic cycle than China. In addition, the capacity for large-scale testing, contact tracing, and case isolation in Europe may lag behind the best examples in Asia―partly reflecting stringent privacy rules. For instance, the European Commission recommends tracking apps, but only on a voluntary basis. Consequently, Europe appears to be more at risk than some Asian countries, including China, though no country can confidently declare victory against the virus.”
“In both Europe and Asia, lockdowns and other restrictions have imposed a significant economic and psychological cost on citizens, and their desire to roll back these measures and reopen economies is all too understandable,”
“However, moving too early and before wide-reaching measures to quickly identify and contain new infections are in place would put the gains in fighting the spread of Covid-19 at stake and risks imposing new human and economic costs,” they wrote.