Almost the entire world is under lockdown and no one knows when all of this would end. While there are certain countries like China and certain parts of Europe who are trying to ease the lockdown, World Health Organization has updated its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan which now included advice on how to ease lockdown.  

The guidelines are given by the WHO and are certain criteria that a country must fulfil before lifting the lockdown. These include: 

1. When the transmission is controlled

Countries that are able to reach a stage where no or low-level, controlled disease spread is occurring with known origin and that spread can be easily absorbed by the healthcare system.

2. Detect, test, isolate and quarantine COVID-19 cases

This would happen when antigen and antibody tests would be made available for everyone and not just for the most severe cases that come to the hospital.

3. Protect vulnerable places

The most vulnerable place for the spread of Coronavirus is a hospital as it is a ground for maximum contact and the spread of the disease. Hospitals have also seen a high number of cases so far. Necessary steps must be taken to protect such places.

4. Workplace prevention rules

Before a country lifts a lockdown it is important that all workplaces and schools are equipped with basic practices like physical distancing, hand washing, and even temperature monitoring to ensure that there are no secondary outbreaks.

5. Manage future cases

Countries also need to ensure that they would be able to manage any future case that might spring up by monitoring hot spot areas and testing for any new cases.

6. Inform the community

Countries that want to lift the lockdown also have to ensure that they need to make the general public aware of their responsibilities in fighting the pandemic. The government must ensure that each and every citizen is aware and follows these new norms of the world.

While it is difficult to assert when is the correct time to open up a country, it is essential that we at least try to adhere to these guidelines. Because even if we manage to stop the spread of the first wave, what is to say that a second wave won’t hit us?