Complacency and confusion: Why some countries are seeing a Covid-19 resurgence

PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EPA-EFE

Less deadly but no less virulent, the coronavirus is testing governments again. Masking, testing, tracing and isolating are the mantras as nations step up vigilance against new peaks that came faster than anticipated. Can they flatten the curve? The Sunday Times reports.

Melbourne back into lockdown as cases surge again


Members of Melbourne's fire brigade preparing to take food parcels to residents in a locked-down public housing estate on Thursday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

In late February, Ms Raihan Suhaimi, a 28-year-old Singaporean, arrived in Melbourne to begin graduate studies and start a new life in a new city.

But her timing could hardly have been worse.

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Infections rise in India, but recovery rate improves


People waiting to board a train to Rajasthan at MGR Central railway station in Chennai on Thursday. Since mid-May, curbs have been eased in India, including on the cross-country movement of people. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Life in the world's second-most populous country has been slowly assuming a new normal after a stringent lockdown was eased.

Many Indians have learnt to wear masks as a matter of routine in spite of the stifling heat, which has reached - and in places, surpassed - 40 deg C.

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Japan adamant spike in cases not a second wave


People in a shopping street in Tokyo earlier this month. Japan's leaders are hesitant to adopt measures that will further hurt the economy. The country chose to further ease restrictions on Friday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Six weeks after Tokyo lifted a state of emergency and with its economy battered into recession, the Japanese capital is setting unwelcome new records of daily Covid-19 cases.

The 224 new infections last Thursday broke a high of 206 cases that was recorded on April 17, a mere 10 days after the state of emergency was imposed.

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America lets its guard down in rush to ease curbs


A healthcare worker in personal protective equipment helping people waiting in line to check in at a Covid-19 testing centre at Lincoln Park in Los Angeles last Tuesday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

After weeks of Americans staying at home and a strict regime of social distancing, the overall number of newly reported Covid-19 daily cases in the United States began to plateau in early May.

But the levelling off did not last.

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Human behaviour is a key factor in curbing the pandemic



There are now over 12 million cases of Covid-19 globally, with more than 550,000 lives lost. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
 

Global outlook on the Covid-19 pandemic ranges from cautious optimism in countries that handled the outbreak well to gloom in places that did not.

The bottom line is, the pandemic is not going to end any time soon. If anything, it is accelerating. And even if it moderates, we will have to live with the virus as a fact of life for the foreseeable future.

There are now over 12 million cases of Covid-19 globally, with more than 550,000 lives lost, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Sweden's approach becomes world's cautionary tale



People enjoying the warm weather in Stockholm in April. Sweden adopted a laissez-faire approach and largely avoided imposing prohibitions. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
 

Ever since the coronavirus emerged in Europe, Sweden has captured international attention by conducting an unorthodox, open-air experiment.

It has allowed the world to examine what happens in a pandemic when a government allows life to carry on largely unhindered.

This is what has happened: Not only have thousands more people died than in neighbouring countries that imposed lockdowns, but Sweden's economy has also fared little better.

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