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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

A look back at Covid-19 lockdowns across the world around this time

Several countries imposed lockdowns across the world in the last two years around this time with rising cases of Covid-19.

Many countries including India went back to reimposing lockdowns to curb the spread in 2021 around this time. (Express/Tashi Tobhgyal)

Two years ago in March, life, as we knew it, changed as countries across the world announced strict lockdowns and other restrictions in view of the rising number of cases of Covid-19. As infections around the world surged fuelled by new strains of the coronavirus, including the latest Omicron variant and its sub-variant BA.2, many countries, including India, went back to reimposing lockdowns to curb their spread in 2021.

Here’s a list of countries across the world that imposed lockdowns in the last two years around this time:

Several countries in Europe and Asia and the US re-imposed restrictions from March 20, 2021, onwards to combat the new wave of infections.

France: About 21 million people in 16 areas of France, including Paris, were under a month-long lockdown as the country feared a third wave. Prime Minister Jean Castex said this was the only possible way to tackle the rising cases in the country.

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A woman waits on a deserted street of Paris as restaurants and shops are closed in owing to the lockdown. (AP)

Germany: In Germany, lockdown measures were put in place from March and they were extended until April 18. Night curfews and tighter restrictions, including a near-complete ban on house visits after 9 pm on socialising were ordered in Berlin for some groups.

People wear protective face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, as they walk over a bridge during the lockdown in Oberhausen, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

The first lockdown was imposed in Germany on March 22, 2020. By April, the country recorded its 100,000th case.

A woman lights candles forming a giant cross in memory of coronavirus victims in Germany. (AP)

Belgium: In 2021, Belgium reintroduced strict lockdown measures, with the government saying that schools would close and residents would have limited access to non-essential businesses.

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The crew of a Dutch ambulance brings a COVID-19 19 patient from Rotterdam to BG University Hospital Bochum, Germany. (AP)

US: The United States was the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, with over 1.4 million cases and 87,000 deaths. The government imposed a lockdown between March to April 2020.

People walk by ambulances parked outside NewYork–Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in New York during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo: Mark Lennihan) A local mural of George Washington takes on new meaning as it has been covered with a mask as the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues in Washington. (Reuters Photo)

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro in Brazil extended a set of restrictions in March 2021 as hospitals across the city were recording an occupancy rate of 90 per cent. 

Cemetery workers wearing protective gear lower the coffin of a person who died from complications related to Covid-19 into a gravesite at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

India: On March 25, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

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Migrant workers walked thousands of kilometres after the lockdown was imposed. (Express file)

During the lockdown, India witnessed thousands and thousands of migrant labourers walking hundreds of kilometres along highways to reach their native villages as public transport stopped plying.

Migrant workers and their families trying to leave Delhi after the nationwide lockdown was announced. There was chaos at the Anand Vihar bus stand. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha) Migrants laborers with families waiting for their turn for medical scanning in Chandigarh before they board buses back to their home towns. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Almost a year later, India experienced a renewed surge in infections with many states reportedly in the grip of a second wave.

The last rites conducted of people who succumbed due to covid-19 during India’s second wave. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Netherlands: In 2021, the Netherlands made news for heated protests against a partial lockdown imposed following a spike in infections.

Thousands take part in a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions in Amsterdam. (AP)

Italy: Italy was one of the first European countries to impose a national lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 in 2020. In 2021, fresh restrictions were imposed in March amid a rise in cases.

Rome’s historical Trevi Fountain remains empty as the city is under a lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (AP)

The country’s health minister Roberto Speranza said he hoped the strict measures would help combat the surge in cases and permit the government to ease restrictions by the second half of spring.

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A woman walks past the Unknown Soldier monument as flags fly at half-staff on the occasion of a national day of mourning for Italy’s Covid-19 dead, in Rome, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP)

Philippines: The Philippines government, too, ordered a lockdown in and around Manila as the capital struggles to cope with a surge in infections in March 2021.

Barricades are seen in Marikina as the Philippines government ordered a lockdown in and around Manila. (AP)

China: Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China. While China controlled the spread of the virus in 2021, in March this year, an outbreak of new cases forced the government to impose a lockdown. China banned most people from leaving a coronavirus-hit Changchun in northeastern China’s Jilin province and mobilised military reservists as the fast-spreading “stealth Omicron” variant fuelled the country’s biggest outbreak.

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A medical worker takes swab samples from a girl for Covid-19 screening in Yantai city in eastern China’s Shandong province Monday, March 14, 2022. (Photo: Chinatopix Via AP)

First published on: 27-03-2022 at 12:37:15 pm
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