Second Covid Wave Fears: Europe Lifting Lockdown Measures While Fresh Outbreak Scares Beijing

Written by | Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
@Eubulletin

As parts of Beijing were put under lockdown on Saturday (13 June) after a fresh cluster of coronavirus infections emerged at a local Xinfadi market, the European Union has expressed concerns about the global implications of a second outbreak in China. Two days earlier, Beijing authorities had reported the city’s first locally transmitted infections in nearly two months, adding that at least 50 more infections were traced back to the Bejiing’s biggest wholesale meat and vegetable market, which serves as the main source of food for the Chinese metropolis. Authorities ordered residents in 11 residential estates to remain at home and mass testing to be conducted while activating a “wartime mechanism” that put hundreds of police officers on the streets.
Despite the mounting fears of a Covid-19 resurgence in China, Europe reopened its borders yesterday (15 June) after the European Commission urged EU member states to relax restrictions. However, with the number of global infections recently doubling in just over a month, EU health officials and the World Health Organization (WHO) have warned that the pandemic is far over. The virus is spreading more rapidly in Latin America and Africa, according to WHO, with Brazil recently becoming the second-highest country with coronavirus death toll, only behind the US. Over 7.6 million people have been infected by the virus globally and more than 426,000 have died. Meanwhile, Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands – also known as Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA) – have announced they are set to invest 750 million euros to secure 300 million doses of drug maker AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine.
In contrast to some other parts of the world, the good news is that the relaxation of lockdowns iand opening of borders across Europe has not so far led to a fresh spike in Covid-19 cases. Greece has announced zero new fatalities for about the past week, the longest run since mid-March. Slowly resuming tourism, the country is opening its second airport to international visitors in the city of Thessaloniki but flights will be allowed only from EU countries until further notice. Depending on the country of origin, arriving passengers might all be required to be tested or be tested at random. More good news is also coming from Malloca where yesterday (15 June) a TUI plane carrying holidaymakers from Germany landed for the first time since the Spanish island shut down to non-essential air travel. Only holidaymakers from Germany have, for the time being, been allowed to travel to the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera. Also France is fully reopening its economy, including all restaurants, President Emmanuel Macron has announced. Starting next week, all nursery schools, primary schools and junior high schools will reopen in the country.

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