New Delhi: As several countries are set to ease coronavirus restrictions, the World Health Organisation (WHO) asserted that “extreme vigilance” is needed  to exit from lockdowns imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed lives of over 276,000 people globally. Also Read - 'Unlock 1': Thermal Screening at Entrance, No Physical Offering | Here's SOP For Religious Places Ahead of Opening on June 8

Taking about a second wave of infections, Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme said,”If the disease persists at a low level without the capacity to investigate clusters, there’s always the risk that the virus takes off again. Now we are seeing some hope as many countries exit these so-called lockdowns. But extreme vigilance is required”. Also Read - 'Unlock 1': '6-ft Distance, Masks, Aarogya Setu App Mandatory For Employees,' Centre Issues SOP For Workplace

His statement comes after Germany reported a spike in fresh COVID-19 cases after easing lockdown. Notably, South Korea, which had managed to flatten the coronavirus curve is also witnessing a new outbreak of the dreaded virus. Also Read - 'Laddoo Ke Paise Wapis de': Twitter Calls Chhota Bheem 'Gold Digger' And 'Player' After he Ditches Chutki to Marry Indumati, Trends #JusticeForChutki

Besides, India also reported its biggest single day spike in cases, a day before partially resuming rail services.

Ryan, on the other hand, exuded confidence that Germany and South Korea would be able to suppress new clusters. He lauded their surveillance and referred it as key to avoiding large second waves.

Shutting your eyes and trying to drive through this blind is about as silly an equation as I’ve seen. And I’m really concerned that certain countries are setting themselves up for some seriously blind driving over the next few months. Other countries are far behind Germany. Britain abandoned an initial contact-tracing effort in mid-March when the virus’s rapid spread made it impossible. Now it is recruiting 18,000 people to do the legwork of tracking contacts”, the head of the WHO’s emergencies programme said.

Echoing similar remarks, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that lifting restrictions was “complex and difficult”. He added that the “slow, steady lifting of lockdowns” is the only key to protect lives and livelihoods.