Many Countries Ease Lockdowns but Russia, India, UK Still Struggling

ROME—From the United States to Europe to Asia, the easing of some CCP virus lockdowns brought millions out of their homes to enjoy the outdoors and warm spring temperatures. Yet the global pandemic is still slicing through the defenses of other nations, causing infections and deaths to march relentlessly higher.

India on Sunday reported its biggest single-day jump of more than 2,600 infections of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus. New virus cases in Russia exceed 10,000 for the first time. The confirmed virus death toll in Britain was creeping up near that of Italy, the epicenter of Europes outbreak, even though the U.K. population is younger than Italys and Britain had more time than Italy to prepare before the pandemic hit.

There was also worrying news from Afghanistan, where nearly a third tested positive in a random test of 500 people in Kabul, the capital city.

Italians are counting down the hours until Monday, when parks and public gardens were re-opening nationwide for strolling, jogging or bike riding. But with sunshine and warm temperatures across the country, many were outside in force Sunday, walking down streets and chatting on sidewalks. Many had masks, but in Rome, some lowered them to talk with friends or neighbors.

Despite the easing, Italians will still have to stay a meter apart, picnics are not allowed and playgrounds will remain closed. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has warned that if the rate of contagion starts rising again, such freedoms will be curtailed.

In Spain, many ventured out this weekend for the first time since its lockdown began on March 14.

“I feel good, but tired. You sure notice that it has been a month and I am not in shape,” runner Cristina Palomeque said in Barcelona.

People cross the Toledo bridge in Madrid
People cross the Toledo bridge in Madrid
People cross the Toledo bridge in Madrid, Spain, on May 3, 2020. (Manu Fernandez/AP Photo)

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to reveal how the country will leave the lockdown that began March 23. The restrictions are due to last at least until through Thursday, but with hundreds of deaths still being reported daily, its unclear how the country can safely loosen the restrictions. Britain over the last two days reported double the number of deaths that both Spain and Italy reported.

While Johnson has said Britain is past the peak of its CCP virus outbreak, his Conservative government is facing sharp criticism as it becomes clear that Britain will have one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the world. British medical workers have also denounced what they call is a shortage of protective equipment.

Masks were worn widely around the world, from runners in Spain to beach-goers in the southern United States. In New York Citys Central Park, joggers moved past each other and a steady stream of folks left tips for a trio working their way through a set of jazz standards.

“Its great to have an audience after all these weeks,” saxophonist Julia Banholzer said. “All my dates have been canceled through September, and I dont know if any will come back this year.”

Virus Outbreak New York Weather
Virus Outbreak New York Weather
People leave home for the outdoors as temperature hovered around 70 degrees, even as stay-at-home order remained in effect, in Brooklyns Windsor neighborhood in New York City, on May 2, 2020. (Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo)

Neighboring New Jersey reopened state parks, though several had to turn people away after reaching a 50 percent limit in their parking lots. Margie Roebuck and her husband were among the first on the sand at Island Beach State Park.

“Forty-six days in the house was enough,” she said.

The divide in the United States between those who want lockdowns to end and those who want to move more cautiously extended to Congress.

The Republican-majority Senate will reopen Monday in Washington, while the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is staying shuttered.

In India, air force helicopters showered flower petals on hospitals in several cities Sunday to thank doctors, nurses and police who have been at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic. U.S. Navy and Air Force figRead More – Source