As the number of people around the globe confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus passes 1.8 million, countries are finding themselves at various stages of their own outbreaks and struggling to balance the medical benefits of keeping restrictions in place and the risks that come with getting their economies moving again.
The preventive measures in many countries have taken the form of lockdowns. And while some places try to mimic the policies of nations that have curbed their outbreaks and others introduce their own measures, there is no clear path for the next steps.
Italy, the center of the pandemic last month, is emerging from the throes of its worst days, with experts saying that a fall in hospitalizations and deaths in recent weeks is a “trustworthy” trend. A handful of businesses will reopen there beginning on Tuesday, though the country’s broader lockdown will remain until at least May 3.
Spain has also started to ease its restrictions, with some construction workers and others set to head back to work this week after a two-week shutdown that touched nearly every industry. The number of deaths rose slightly over the weekend, however, and the decision about whether to pull back to help get the economy moving again will fuel the debate about whether the government is taking too much risk too soon.
The crisis seems to be easing in parts of Europe, but cases continue to mount elsewhere, including in the United States, which is now squarely at the center of the global outbreak with more than 555,000 confirmed cases and 22,000 deaths.
Even as new infections and hospitalizations in New York and other hard-hit areas have stabilized in recent days, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said that any future measures to ease lockdowns should be part of a slow and considered process.Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global OutbreakThe virus has infected more than 1,808,000 people in at least 177 countries.
Britain’s lockdown, which is set to expire on Monday, will continue until the government decides on parameters for formally lengthening restrictions. That decision is expected to come later in the week.
The country’s death toll surpassed 10,600 this weekend. And while officials warned that Britain was still days away from a peak of new cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospitalon Sunday after being treated for the virus.
President Emmanuel Macron of France is expected to announce an extension of his country’s lockdown in a televised address on Monday, as the country approaches 100,000 total cases and 15,000 deaths.
In China, where the number of cases has eased in recent weeks, a surge in new infections has been linked to a return of Chinese citizens from Russia, a country that is now experiencing its own uptick.
Some areas of Japan that are experiencing a new wave of infections have declared a state of emergency for a second time, an example of how initial successes from social distancing and restrictions on movement can fade once they are relaxed.
Source Courtesy NYTIMES