New virus cases threaten world’s moves back to work
Moscow: Russia and India eased coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, despite facing upsurges in infections and expert warnings that the world could face a second wave epidemic.
Chinese authorities, meanwhile, moved to test the entire 11-million strong population of the city of Wuhan, cradle of the global pandemic, after new cases were reported there.
In Russia, the government began to gradually ease lockdown rules Tuesday as the country's infections surged past 232,000 -- now the second most in the world after only the United States, according to an AFP tally.
The grim landmark came as President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told news agencies he has the virus.
South Korea, credited with one of the world's more successful anti-virus campaigns, said it was using mobile phone data to track Seoul nightclub visitors after a cluster of new cases.
And in Britain, which already has Europe's most confirmed deaths, the Office of National Statistics said reports from care homes for the elderly suggest the government's tally of 32,065 deaths underestimates the full toll.
Precautionary economic and social lockdowns have paralysed much of the global economy and, while many areas are now cautiously moving back to work, world markets are trading cautiously amid fears of a second wave epidemic.
The United States -- where at least 80,000 people have died -- has by far the world's highest caseload, but President Donald Trump is keen to reopen the economy quickly amid soaring job losses.
He faces resistance, however, and Washington's top epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has warned of "needless suffering and death" if Americans return to work and group leisure activities before the pandemic is under control.
"If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: 'Open America Again,' then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country," Fauci told the New York Times in an email.
"This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal," he warned, ahead of testimony to a Senate committee. - AFP