Summer hope fades as cases soar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 07, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:17 AM, July 07, 2020

Summer hope fades as cases soar

Coronavirus pandemic escalates despite warmer weather raising questions on sun’s effect and human behaviour

Drunken celebrations on English pub reopening night and US beach closures prompted a global rethink of coronavirus measures during the summer holiday season.

Hopes of the sun making the new disease go away are fading as the United States racks up record daily infection numbers and quarantines return to parts of Europe.

Cases are also rising fast in India while Iran recorded its highest single death toll and Madagascar was forced to lock down its capital because of a new spike.

The latest batch of bad news is confronting governments with the pains of calibrating a response that is both safe and sufficient to get stalled economies going and mentally exhausted people out of their homes after months of lockdown.

Saturday presented the twin tests of England's pub culture resuming after a three-month hiatus and the US marking its July 4 celebrations under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

The head of the police federation for England and Wales said the sight of thousands of people thronging the streets of London's Soho nightlife district made it clear "that drunk people can't/won't socially distance".

Britain's infection numbers are falling and any new spike from the big night out could undermine PM Johnson's optimistic message of the worst being in the past.

His government has already been forced to impose a partial lockdown on the city of Leicester and is watching infection rates trending at uncomfortably high levels in London and other parts of the UK.

The mood is Spain is even grimmer after two separate outbreaks saw 200,000 people put under lockdown in the northeastern Catalonia region on Saturday and another 70,000 in the northwestern Galicia region on Sunday.

Spaniards endured one of the world's toughest lockdowns in which people were confined to their homes unless they could provide the police with a valid excuse for stepping out.

Very similar measures in Italy managed to contain that outbreak to the richer northern regions without a second rebound.

The virus's unpredictable nature means it is popping up without warning in regions that appear to be doing the same things as its relatively untouched neighbours.

Greece was forced Sunday to close its frontier to Serbian nationals after that Balkan country declared a health emergency in the capital Belgrade.

And the entire European Union and Britain are refusing entry to Americans because its infection rates are still climbing in some big states.

The US accounts for a quarter of the world's 530,000 official virus deaths and another quarter of its 11.3 million registered cases.

Trump seemed undeterred. He once again blamed China for causing the pandemic and promised that US "scientific brilliance" will find a cure or a vaccine "long before the end of the year".

Yet no immediate medical solution is in sight and more and more states are erring on the side of caution and shutting things down once again.

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