Socialist Worker

Global Covid-19 cases rise sharply after states lift lockdowns

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2712

Health officials leave a quarantine centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday of last week

Health officials leave a quarantine centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday of last week (Pic: PA)


More than 11 million people across the globe have now been infected by Covid-19.

A second wave of the virus is feared imminent in a number of countries—while in others it seems the first wave never really ended.

India has become the third most affected country in the world after cases rose sharply.

It imposed a lockdown at the end of March to try and slow the spread of the virus. But it then began to ease lockdown to try and restart profits.

It is a similar picture in South Africa, where the easing of a lockdown has seen a spike in cases.

The total number of cases of the virus rose to 177,000 and a record 9,063 cases were reported last Saturday.

Brazil began July surpassing the grim milestone of 60,000 deaths caused by Covid-19 and recording 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Iran was one of the countries hardest hit by the virus in March, but as cases began to decline throughout April lockdown measures were relaxed. Restaurants and cafes were allowed to reopen on 26 May.

But last Sunday Iran recorded its highest number of deaths from the virus in a single day, 163.

And new cases of the virus were rising by at least 1,000 a day last week in Iraq.

Lockdown

A second localised lockdown is underway in the Spanish state.

The 70,000-strong population of La Marina has been banned from leaving the area after more than 100 people tested positive for the virus.

And the government of Catalonia has locked down the Segria region.

The number of people with Covid-19 to enter the University Hospital in Leida—Segria’s capital—had tripled in the ten days by Saturday.

In Australia, parts of Melbourne are locked down after a sharp rise in cases.

Victoria’s border with New South Wales closed on Tuesday after it recorded its biggest ever rise in cases—127—on Monday.

Victoria had recorded 632 new cases in a week. Right wing media have tried to stoke a racist backlash by blaming Muslims.

Serbia’s capital Belgrade declared a fresh state of emergency last week after a rise in cases.

Cases across Serbia have risen since May, when the government lifted a national lockdown.

The dire figures from across the world are a warning that easing ­lockdowns before it is safe will lead to more cases and more deaths.

But there is some resistance.

Over 2,000 Amazon workers launched a two-day strike at six facilities in Germany last week over the company’s refusal to provide adequate coronavirus protection.

And thousands of delivery workers struck in more than ten Brazilian capitals demanding safer working conditions. More strikes took place in cities in Argentina and Mexico.


Fears over figures in Asia

Asia has had a sharp rise in cases of coronavirus.

South Asia as a whole has now suffered over one million cases and 25,000 known deaths.

Known deaths from the virus in India have risen to 20,000 with 700,000 confirmed cases.

The number of official deaths there has doubled in the past three weeks.

The increase in deaths is in part the result of revised death figures submitted from Mumbai and New Delhi.

The tally is expected to rise much further as other cities and provinces submit their own updates.

Cases of the virus and death tolls are rising in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Pakistan had over 230,000 reported cases at the beginning of the week and over 4,700 deaths. Bangladesh had 166,000 cases and 2,100 deaths.

As in India, there are concerns that the figures are undercounted as coronavirus deaths are recorded as being due to other causes while cases skyrocket.


Trump is risking lives for profit

The United States was approaching three million confirmed Covid-19 cases at the beginning of this week, with 130,000 deaths.

A million extra cases have been recorded in the last month.

In several states the virus is effectively out of control and some restrictive measures that had been lifted have been reintroduced.

Texas reported its second highest number of daily cases last weekend. Lockdown measures there began to be eased at the start of May.

Texas governor, Republican Gregg Abbott, said, “If I could go back and redo anything it probably would have been the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting.”

Cases of the virus have soared in childcare centres. According to the Texas Tribune, over 950 cases had been reported at 668 different facilities throughout the state by the end of June.

Dr Nicholas Rister, a paediatric infectious diseases expert, said cases had skyrocketed since the state has dropped measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Yet president Donald Trump continues to dismiss the threat. Trump has claimed that “99 percent of cases are totally harmless”.

Healthcare workers are seeing a rise in younger people with the virus.

In Arizona, there has been an increase in those contracting the virus between the ages of 20 and 44.

And in a number of states, the median age of those being treated for the virus is in the 30s.

Trump is callously allowing people to die to keep the stock market booming.

 

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