The World Health Organisation (WHO) Β is urging countries to remain vigilant as they begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti says COVID-19 cases could start increasing rapidly after a lockdown.

A number of countries globally have begun easing their lockdowns and they’re being urged to ensure that measures are in place to mitigate this.

Dr Moeti’s call comes weeks after WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged countries not to end coronavirus lockdowns too soon.

In the video below, Ghebreyesus warns against easing lockdown too soon:

“Now more than ever is a time for international solidarity,” says Dr Moeti.

“There is a critical shortage of COVID-19 tests, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies in Africa. We hope that as restrictions on movement are lifted, these goods will start flowing to the places and people that need them most.”

Over the past three months, the WHO has supported the delivery of nearly two million pieces of personal protective equipment for health workers. This includes surgical masks and more than 100 000 screening kits.

The organisation is working with partners to ramp up the delivery of key supplies over the coming months.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, the WHO has developed national response plans for member countries.

More than 3 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide and at least 360 000 deaths.