New COVID-19 Cases Still High, the U.S. and Europe Reopening
The U.S. and a few European countries still reporting thousands of new coronavirus cases every day. Now, questions mounted on whether they can successfully ease restrictions aimed at curbing the outbreak anytime soon, according to an analyst from Fitch Solutions on Friday.
The said restrictions include a travel ban and a temporary shutdown of businesses and schools. And this has brought much of global economic activity to a pause. Additionally, several signs indicated that the spread of the virus is slowing down. Many governments are hopeful they can restart their economies.
However, Fitch Solutions’ head of country risk and global strategy, Cedric Chehab, explained China’s experience of cutting back those restrictions displayed that there might be a new wave of infections.
He said, “China is reopening its economy in stages, but we’ve already seen some incipient risk of a second wave coming out of the city of Harbin.”
Chehab highlighted that there was upward pressure on daily new cases reported after China loosens its measures.
Aside from that, he also mentioned countries like the U.S., Spain, and Italy with the numbers of new cases that have peaked. Despite that, they are still high relative to what they saw in South Korea and China. And now he is thinking if how they can begin to ease restrictions and open up the economies with such high numbers of new cases still coming.
Around the world, the U.S., Spain, and Italy have shown the highest number of cumulative cases. This is based on the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Then, the U.S., on Thursday, has reported over 28,000 new cases. Meanwhile, Spain and Italy respectively added 4,600 and 2,600 cases to their tallies.
In addition to that, U.S. President Donald Trump has on some occasions, called for the easing of restrictions on the mobility of people. But he also said that he would reopen the economy on time that they know that the country is going to be healthy. Despite that, some states decided to loosened measures like letting beaches and parks to reopen at specific hours.
Then, in Spain, the government has enabled several factories and construction work to restart. And Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte noted that any relaxation in measures would happen in a cautious and calculated manner. This will be likely to begin on May 4.
Restrictions in the Asia Pacific
Elsewhere, the Asia Pacific countries look like they are more cautious in easing lockdown measures.
Before China lifted restrictions on Wuhan – the epicenter of the outbreak -, the new cases in the country declined to double-digit levels. Then, New Zealand aims to start easing measures next week after cases remained in single-digit levels in the last few days. Malaysia, on the other hand, extended its partial lockdown, although the number of new cases has fallen below 100 during the past week.
Now, the recovery in the economy worldwide depends on how fast countries can get activity going again. And Chehab predicted that economies would feel most of the pain in the second quarter.
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