The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday it is encouraged that several countries in Europe and North America are now starting to plan how to ease physical restrictions they imposed in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re encouraged that several countries in Europe and North America are now starting to plan how to ease social restrictions,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a video-press conference.

“We have said previously that easing these measures must be a gradual process, and we’ve spoken about the criteria that countries should consider,” he said.

Still, although there are encouraging signs in some countries, there were worrying trends in others.

“In the past week, there has been a 51% increase in the number of reported cases in my own continent, Africa, and a 60% increase in the number of reported deaths,” said the WHO chief.

Due to the challenge of obtaining testing kits, it is likely the real numbers are higher than reported.

Tedros also spoke about the sale and trade of wildlife for food asserting that governments must rigorously enforce bans on their sale and trade.

He said WHO works closely with the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization to develop guidance on the safe operation of markets.

“Because an estimated 70% of all new viruses come from animals, we also work together closely to understand and prevent pathogens crossing from animals to humans,” said Tedros.

Responding to a question on China revising upwards its death toll from the virus, the organization's emergencies director Dr. Mike Ryan said: “It's important that countries provide that data as quickly as they can in the interests of, of moving our collective efforts forward to control this pandemic.”

On Friday the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus first emerged last year, revised upwards its death toll by 1,290 to 3,869 -- a rise of 45%.

It also revised up its number of confirmed cases by 325 to 50,333, according to a statement from the Wuhan Municipality.

Worldwide, there are over 2.21 million cases of coronavirus with over 151,000 reported deaths. More than 565,800 people have now recovered from the coronavirus, according to data compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the severity of the virus, most people experience mild symptoms and recover in due time.