The WHO chief made the remarks on Friday at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, where he urged countries not to lay down their guard in the fight against the pandemic.
“So-called lockdowns enabled many countries to suppress transmission and take the pressure off their health systems,” he said. “But lockdowns are not a long-term solution for any country.”
Many countries around the world imposed lockdowns in efforts to curb further spread of the virus within their borders.
While some countries have lifted the lockdowns, others remain in place, albeit relaxed to allow economies to reopen.
Tedros noted that the pandemic served as a reminder that economy and health are inseparable.
Many countries have started reopening schools and businesses, while others are still considering the safety of such moves.
The WHO chief said for any safe reopening, “every single person must be involved.”
He also noted that the world cannot go back to the way it was pre-COVID-19.
“Throughout history, outbreaks and pandemics have changed economies and societies. This one will be no different,” he said.