Coming into the final week of July, the novel coronavirus has infected over 16 million people across the globe and killed more than 646,000 people. The U.S isn’t the only country to be experiencing spikes of COVID-19 cases; countries from China to Spain are grappling with the implications of surging coronavirus numbers.
China Records Record High Since April
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, China set itself apart from the rest of the world by implementing extremely strict lockdown measures. Some regions even tested millions of residents in just weeks to ensure the virus had been eradicated.
Since recording 89 new cases on April 14, China’s coronavirus numbers remained low. That is, until mid-July when 57 new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region. This sudden outbreak occurred around the same time as 14 other domestic cases, leading to the highest daily tally since April 14.
Chinese authorities have responded by declaring “wartime mode” in the residential communities of Dalian and Urumqi. Both communities are under complete lockdown until all signs of the coronavirus disappear.
Belgian Prime Minister Announces New Restrictive Measures
Belgium’s Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes made a forceful statement on July 27 signaling a series of further restrictive measures for her country. She noted that Belgium may enter into a second “complete lockdown” in response to significant spikes in coronavirus infections.
“If we cannot reduce the coronavirus, it will be a collective failure,” Wilmès said at a press conference following a meeting of the country’s national security council. Precautions such as teleworking and limited social contact have been recommended. For a period of four weeks, each household may only have social contact with five additional people, and all shopping is limited to 30 minute intervals.
Spain Faces Second Wave of Virus
Spain’s tourism-dependent economy was dealt a major blow recently when the U.K imposed a quarantine on travelers returning from the country. The United Kingdom decided to enforce a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from Spain after coronavirus cases in Spain spiked, especially in the Catalonia region.
According to Spain’s health ministry, more than 920 cases emerged on Thursday and Friday, which mark the highest numbers since early May. Now authorities are attempting to flatten the curve emerging in the Catalonia region, which includes Barcelona and popular beaches.
All Barcelona nightclubs have been forced to shut down for at least two weeks, while bars must close by midnight each night. In the western district of Segria, a partial lockdown now affects 200,000 residents.
But these three countries are far from the only ones dealing with the effects of surging COVID-19 cases. Vietnam recently evacuated 80,000 from its central city of Danang, while Hong Kong just implemented strict lockdown measures in response to five consecutive days with cases in the triple digits.