Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker: As novel coronavirus cases top 8 million globally, some countries that experienced a significant drop in new Covid-19 infections in April and May are now beginning to witness an uptick in confirmed daily cases.
The most notable resurgence has been in China’s capital Beijing, which has reported over 150 infections ever since the city recorded its first domestically transmitted case in 57 days on June 11. Most of the cases have been linked to Beijing’s bustling Xinfadi wholesale market.
The concerning trend can be seen in several Middle East nations too, most notably in Iran, where new cases had dropped below 1,000 in early May but have now more than doubled.
In the United States, half a dozen states like Texas, Arizona and Florida that began reopening their economies in recent weeks are reporting record numbers of new confirmed infections as is New Zealand, which reported its first new cases in almost a month.
A “second wave” in a pandemic signifies a period of increasing disease transmission following an overall decline.
These are the countries seeing a second wave in Covid-19 infections:
After almost two months without a single new infection, Beijing recorded dozens of new Covid-19 cases last week linked to the Xinfadi market — one of the biggest wholesale food markets in Asia. On Thursday, China has reported 28 new confirmed coronavirus cases, including 24 in Beijing, taking the total number of infections in the last few days to 161. The tally in Beijing stands at 137 at present.
Following the second wave of infections, the capital city ramped up testing, cancelled hundreds of flights, suspended sports events and closed certain gyms. Two airports in Beijing have cancelled 1,255 domestic flights, nearly 70 per cent of the scheduled trips, PTI reported.
Since Wednesday, Beijing has shut middle and primary schools as well as suspended college students’ return to campus. The city raised its emergency response to the second-highest level while and entry and exit checkpoints and temperature checks returned to neighborhoods in the city.
Chinese researchers suspect shipped livestock and produce might have carried the virus after it was found at the Xinfadi market on cutting boards used for salmon, which is imported from Europe.
As of Wednesday, a total of 83,293 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported on the mainland, among which 4,634 had died of the disease.
From June 1, Iran has seen a rapid surge in the numbers of coronavirus cases, sparking fears it might be in the throes of a second wave of the pandemic. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, new reported infections averaged more than 3,000 a day in the first week of June – a 50 per cent increase from the previous seven days.
The figure reached a peak of 3,600 on June 4, before dropping slightly and the daily number of cases has remained over the 2,000-mark. Iran started to relax its restrictions in the last week of April. At that time, the total number of cases was 70,029 and has since risen to 195,051, including 9,185 deaths.
The previous highest figure was 3,186 on March 30 during the initial outbreak, when Iran became one of the worst affected countries outside China.
President Hassan Rouhani has said restrictions might be re-imposed if people do not follow social distancing and hygiene rules.
“The main reason for the rising numbers is that we have started identifying (infected people) who have no or mild symptoms,” Iran’s chief epidemiologist, Mohammad-Mehdi Gouya, told BBC.
👉 United States
Even though several researchers have claimed that the US was past its Covid-19 peak, infections across Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas have shown an uptick ever since Memorial Day.
Florida witnessed over 2,600 new cases on Wednesday and Arizona more than 1,800 — the second-highest daily increase for both the US states.
In Florida, some of the increase has been linked to reopened bars. Texas, where 23,000 new cases were reported between June 4 and June 16, has also pointed to bars as one cause of its current outbreak. In Oregon, over 200 new cases have been linked to events at Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church.
Oklahoma, where cases are rapidly rising, witnessed a 68 per cent spike in cases last week, Reuters reported. North Carolina reported record coronavirus hospitalisations on Tuesday with about 74% of its hospital and ICU beds filled.
The development comes as several states reopen in the middle of an economic crisis, with the country recording unprecedented unemployment rates after the lockdown.
More than 2.1 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in the United States and over 117,717 have died from COVID-19, by far the most in the world.
Even though Japan has the lowest number of cases among the G-7 nations, cases have started rising since last week in capital Tokyo.
Tokyo disclosed 47 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest since May 5, as the capital eased restrictions and readied to fully reopen the economy. It was the third time in the week that Tokyo logged over 40 cases in a day. On May 5, the Tokyo government reported 57 cases.
Thirty-two of the cases were traced to nightclubs and bars, a spokeswoman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said, Bloomberg reported.
New infections in Tokyo had been declining through late May but they rebounded after the state of emergency was lifted on May 25.
The jump comes as the Tokyo government entered its final reopening phase and is planning to allow nightclubs and live music venues to reopen by Friday.
👉 South Korea
Even though South Korea had become one of the world’s Covid-19 success stories with its rigorous testing strategy, new cases reached a three-week high on Thursday. South Korea once had the world’s second-worst outbreak but it kept a lid on infections without ever having to enforce a lockdown.
Officials recorded 59 more cases over the past 24 hours, Yonhap News Agency reported. This is the highest figure since 79 infections were reported on May 28. A majority of the cases (51) were of local transmission and reported around the capital Seoul.
The new cases pushed South Korea’s total up to 12,257, while the death toll also increased by one to 280. According to government figures, 10,800 patients have recovered in the country, while more than 1.14 million tests have been carried out since January 3.
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