A family in China, a nightclub in South Korea and a slaughterhouse in Germany – a new group of infections sparked fears about a second wave even as calls grow in some countries to loosen further restrictions.
In Germany, where thousands of people protested the remaining restrictions in recent days, health officials said the number of each person was confirmed corona virus infecting patients rise above 1 again, reflecting a new increase in cases. The number must be under 1 for the outbreak to decrease.
Then on Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to take a different way, keeping most of the restrictions as he revealed a “road map” for the country that has the most official virus deaths in Europe at more than 31,600. His Conservative Government was criticized for being slow to react to the pandemic, but after falling ill with the virus itself, Mr. Johnson had taken a tougher line.
14 cases in China
China reported 14 new cases on Sunday, the first double digit increase in 10 days. Eleven of the 12 domestic infections were in the northeastern province of Jilin, which prompted authorities to increase the threat level in one of their districts, Shulan, to high risk, only days after lowering all regions to low risk.
Authorities say the Shulan outbreak came from a 45-year-old woman who has no recent travel history or exposure but spread it to her husband, three sisters and other family members. Rail services in the area are suspended.
South Korea reports 34 more cases because new infections associated with nightclubs threaten the hard-earned benefits of the virus in the country. It was the first time that South Korea’s daily infection was above 30 in about a month.
Throughout Europe, many countries reduce the lock even further as they prepare to eradicate new infections. Senior Turkish citizens get the first chance to roam outside in seven weeks on Sunday.
Germany, which has managed to push new infections every day below 1,000 before deciding to relax restrictions, has seen a regional surge in cases related to slaughterhouses and nursing homes.
German officials have expressed concern about the increasing number of large demonstrations, including one in the southwestern city of Stuttgart which attracted thousands of participants. Police in Berlin had to intervene on Saturday after hundreds of people failed to respect socially distancing measures at anti-lockout rallies.
Reopened in Europe
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Governor of 16 German States last week paved the way for the remaining restaurants, hotels and shops to reopen. The country’s soccer league will resume this week, although a number of professional players have tested positive for COVID-19, and more students are returning to school starting Monday.
France, which has the same number of infections as Germany but the death rate is far higher at more than 26,300, allowed some of the younger students to return to school on Monday after almost two months out.
Russia, by contrast, is still reporting an increase in infections. Figures released on Sunday recorded 11,012 new cases, the highest one-day count, with a total of nearly 2.10,000 cases and 1,915 reported deaths. Russian officials attributed the sharp rise in part to increased testing, but health experts said Russian data had been reported significantly.
Worldwide, more than four million people have been reported infected and nearly 2.80,000 have died, more than half of them in Europe, according to Johns Hopkins.