NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City "cannot afford a boomerang" of COVID-19 cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
During his daily briefing on the coronavirus, the Mayor warned that if stay-at-home orders and other restrictions are lifted too quickly, the highly contagious disease could make a comeback.
"The danger is a bounce-back, a boomerang, where the disease seems to be going away and then reasserts," de Blasio said. "The cases come on more and more and the numbers go up and more and more people are afflicted and that would set back a restart and a recovery by a long time."
Mayor de Blasio mentioning three locations where the dangers of the "boomerang effect" took a wrong turn after their restarts: Hokkaido in Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
"What they have in common is they're all examples of the dangers that exist if the restart goes the wrong way and if that boomerang effect is allowed to happen," de Blasio said. "It's a reminder that we have to be vigilant because even a small number of cases can lead to that resurgence if the right restrictions aren't in place."
Mayor de Blasio said in order for New York City to get back to normal as quickly as possible, the restrictions need to continue, and lifting them has to be done strategically.
"We need to stick with what's working. We need to understand that the restrictions in place are working and that they only get relaxed carefully and slowly. There's no on/off switch here. It's not like you have all the restrictions one day and then the next day you're back to normal," de Blasio said. "We would do things in careful stages and make sure each step we take is working before we take the next step."
The Mayor said the responsibility is on all New Yorkers to not let their guards down.
"It's a ferocious disease. I think we've all established, all have seen painfully, so many of us have experienced in our own families, in our own lives, why it's such a dangerous disease," de Blasio said. "This is not a disease that will walk away and leave us alone and go quietly into the night. We have to fight back if we want to rid ourselves of it."