Public health officials around the world are bracing for a resurgence of coronavirus cases. This dreaded “second wave” may be happening sooner than most people imagined possible.
Where Are COVID-19 Cases Increasing?
South Korea reports that it may already be in the middle of a resurgence of coronavirus cases after a May holiday. The country has been praised for its quick and thorough response to the pandemic, which had reduced cases dramatically. Since relaxing social restrictions, however, South Korea has seen a rise in clusters of COVID-19 infections linked to clubs and amusement parks.
A similar pattern is playing out in some European countries. Germany has done a good job managing infections early in the pandemic, successfully flattening the curve. However, officials in Berlin report that case counts have now returned to levels that were prevalent in April. Hundreds of slaughterhouse workers have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and more than 300 households in Berlin are locked down due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
In Lisbon, health authorities have banned gatherings of more than ten people. They have asked bars to close by 8 pm, extremely early by Portuguese standards. Elsewhere in Portugal, health authorities worry that travelers from Lisbon have spread the virus, pushing the case count up.
Australia, like Germany, did a very good job at reducing infection rates during lockdown. Now the country is starting to re-open shops and workplaces, but some areas have had a significant rise in COVID-19 infections recently. The state of Victoria is extending emergency lockdown regulations and has declared the city of Melbourne a hotspot. Although the resurgence of COVID-19 cases there is modest, the government is taking it seriously. It has called in the army to conduct a testing blitz to get the infection back under control.