The United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, has cautioned countries that have moved to lift the COVID-19 lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the virus.
The UN Commissioner gave the advice while speaking to journalists from Geneva on Thursday.
She stated that the potential risks include the “danger of a second wave” that could cost many more lives if countries lift restrictions without adequate plans.
In the same vein, she acknowledged the socioeconomic difficulties resulting from prolonged lockdowns imposed by governments to stop the spread of the virus.
According to her, balancing the economic imperatives with the health and human rights demands of the COVID-19 response will be one of the most “defining experiences for all leaders and all governments.”
Their place in history will be decided by how well or how badly they perform over the coming months.
If their response is based on the interests of a particular elite, causing the disease to flare up again in other less privileged or marginalised communities, it will rebound on everyone.
If an affected country comes out of lockdown too hastily, there is a danger that a second wave, costing many more lives, will be triggered sooner and more destructively than would otherwise be the case.
If the re-opening of societies is mishandled, all the huge sacrifices made during the initial lockdown will have been for nothing.
However, the damage to individuals and to economies, will not just be retained – it will be significantly amplified.
According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, the disease, as of Thursday morning, had infected more than 4.2 million people and killed no fewer than 294,000 others.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is one of the countries that has eased its lockdown, instead of imposing a dusk to dawn curfew nationwide.
Since easing the lockdown on May 4, Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases and fatality rate have continued to increase; surpassing 5,000 cases on Thursday.
In the meantime, Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has warned he could reimpose a lockdown on the country’s most populous state as residents continue to violate safety measures put in place to check the spread of the virus.