WebMD News Brief

Countries Renew Restrictions As COVID Spikes

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May 13, 2020 - Several countries that relaxed their shelter-in-place orders are beginning to shift back into lockdown mode after seeing a spike in coronavirus infections, according to TheWashington Post.

Late Tuesday, Saudi Arabia joined Lebanon and South Korea in re-imposing certain restrictions. The country announced a 24-hour curfew during the 5-day Eid Al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan on May 23-27.

Also Tuesday, Lebanon announced restrictions would start again after 2 weeks of easing up, the newspaper reported. The country is under a 4-day, “near-complete” lockdown to give public health officials time to understand the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. After reporting one or two new cases per day, the country saw 104 new cases in the past 4 days.

Authorities in Wuhan, China, also ordered the testing of all 11 million residents in the next 10 days after a new cluster of six infections appeared. These were the first new cases in 5 weeks.

On Saturday, the mayor of Seoul, South Korea, pulled back on the reopening of bars and nightclubs after dozens of cases appeared. On Sunday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said to “brace for the pandemic’s second wave.”

Germany has also warned that some areas may need to reinstate restrictions when outbreaks pop up locally.

“We always have to be aware that we are still at the beginning of the pandemic,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week after several positive tests came from a meatpacking plant. “And there’s still a long way in dealing with this virus in front of us.”

On Monday, Parisians crowded the Seine River om France to celebrate the end of 6 weeks of confinement, and on Tuesday, police banned the consumption of alcohol along the river.

At the same time, some countries are easing restrictions. India and Russia announced some reopening measures, even though cases continue to increase. Iran also plans to reopen schools later this week although infections have increased since restrictions were eased in late April.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on May 14, 2020

Sources

Washington Post, “As some countries ease up, others are reimposing lockdowns amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections.”

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