Germany kicks off as Europe eases curbs but virus marches on

A sport-starved world has turned to Germany's Bundesliga, which kicked off on the weekend under strict sanitary conditions
A sport-starved world has turned to Germany’s Bundesliga, which kicked off on the weekend under strict sanitary conditions

German football champions Bayern Munich were set to play their first match in more than two months on Sunday as coronavirus restrictions ease in parts of Europe, but the devastating pandemic remains on the march elsewhere with deaths soaring in Brazil.

With the worldwide death toll topping 311,000 and the reeling from the vast damage caused by lockdowns, the reopenings in some of the hardest-hit countries such as Italy provided much-needed relief.

But the number of COVID-19 fatalities soared past 15,000 in Brazil with 230,000 infections, making it the country with the fourth-highest number of cases, a grim reminder of the scale of the crisis.

And in the United States—the worst-hit country—former President Barack Obama launched a scathing attack on the way the crisis has been handled, saying a lot of American leaders “aren’t even pretending to be in charge”.

In Germany, where authorities have started a gradual easing of restrictions, reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich were set to play Union Berlin in the capital Sunday night, a day after the league resumed play in empty, echoing stadiums.

Already attracting a record TV audience, the Bundesliga restart is under intense scrutiny as a test case, with top sports competitions trying to find ways to resume play without increasing the risk of spreading the virus, which has infected 4.6 million people globally.

Bundesliga players celebrating goals, some practising social distancing—such as Dortmund's Erling Braut, top left—and some not
Bundesliga players celebrating goals, some practising social distancing—such as Dortmund’s Erling Braut, top left—and some not

The first big-purse golf tournament in months also wrapped up Sunday, with the normally overlooked Korean LPGA Championship winning new interest to women’s golf.

“The moment I had always dreamt of finally has come true,” said the tearful 20-year-old winner Park Hyun-kyung, who was congratulated by her mask-wearing peers with elbow-bumps.

One question that has arisen during the pandemic is whether masks are an effective weapon against the virus, with little research on the subject leading several countries to backflip on their official advice.

A team of leading experts in Hong Kong said Sunday that research conducted on hamsters found that non-contact transmission of the virus could be reduced by more than 60 percent when masks are used.

‘Calculated risk’

There have been positive signs in a slowly reopening Europe, with Spain reporting its number of new deaths dropped to 87 on Sunday—the first time the number has fallen below 100 in two months.

A French beach on the first weekend after lockdown measures were eased
A French beach on the first weekend after lockdown measures were eased

But despite the optimism in some European countries, the rising infection and fatality numbers in other parts of the world offered reminders of the threat posed by the deadly disease.

The number of infections in Latin America passed half a million on Sunday, as Chile locked down its capital Santiago following a sharp rise in cases.

Despite the surging numbers in Brazil, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is keen to end lockdowns, which he claims have unnecessarily damaged the economy.

“Unemployment, hunger and misery will be the future of those who support the tyranny of total isolation,” Bolsonaro tweeted.

In Russia, which has the world’s second highest number of infections, the top health official claimed Sunday the country had “halted the growth” of the virus, just a day after reporting its deadliest day.

A cook shows an octopus to a customer at a stall in a fair in Carballino, norhtwestern Spain
A cook shows an octopus to a customer at a stall in a fair in Carballino, norhtwestern Spain

There were happier scenes in Europe, with excited swimmers diving into the waters off newly reopened beaches in France, Greece and Italy, while Britons enjoyed the sun in parks after lockdown measures eased.

Italy, for a long stretch the world’s worst-hit country, announced that European Union tourists would be allowed to visit from June 3, and a 14-day mandatory quarantine would be scrapped.

“We’re facing a calculated risk in the knowledge that the contagion curve may rise again,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

With the threat of a second wave of infections and with no vaccine available, authorities in many countries have asked people not to throng public spaces as they are made accessible again.

‘Not even pretending to be in charge’

And a stark warning came on Sunday from one of the top medical experts in China, where the disease first emerged late last year but has largely been brought under control after more than 4,600 deaths.

Two women enjoy a drink in the grass in London's Hyde Park, after the were reopened for the first time in months
Two women enjoy a drink in the grass in London’s Hyde Park, after the were reopened for the first time in months

“The majority of… Chinese at the moment are still susceptible… because (of) a lack of immunity,” Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese government’s senior medical advisor, told CNN.

“We are facing (a) big challenge, it’s not better than the foreign countries I think at the moment.”

But with people growing weary of confinement and suffering immense economic pain, pressure is growing on governments to ease lockdowns despite the threat of a second wave.

With more than 88,000 deaths and 1.47 million confirmed cases, the US is the worst-hit country on the planet, and President Donald Trump is keen to restart the world’s biggest economy despite experts warning against moving too quickly.

Former president Barack Obama on Saturday took a swipe at the response to the pandemic, telling graduates at a virtual college commencement ceremony that many leaders today “aren’t even pretending to be in charge”—a remark widely regarded as a rare rebuke of his successor.

  • People queue in front of a shop in Paris on the first weekend after France eased lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of t
    People queue in front of a shop in Paris on the first weekend after France eased lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • A world map showing official number of coronavirus deaths per country, as of May 17 at 1100 GMT
    A world map showing official number of coronavirus deaths per country, as of May 17 at 1100 GMT

“Doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy –- that’s how little kids think,” he later told high school students

Someone whose handling of the pandemic has been more praised is New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern—however even she is not exempt from coronavirus measures.

She was denied entry to a cafe over the weekend as it had reached its customer limit. “I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organised and book anywhere,” her fiancee Clarke Gayford tweeted.

Follow the latest news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

© 2020 AFP

Germany kicks off as Europe eases curbs but virus marches on (2020, May 17)
retrieved 17 May 2020

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.


Related posts:

Germany to lift travel warning for Europe from June 15
Weight, blood pressure higher in younger patients with T2DM
Reducing number of BP meds may be safe in some older adults
At-home gene test for breast, ovarian cancers looks effective
People are avoiding the ER during COVID-19 crisis at their peril: study
In a first, researchers use base editing to correct recessive genetic deafness and restore partial h...
Engineered T cells for type 1 diabetes move closer to clinic
Cardiologist investigates why TAVR might not work for some heart patient
Metaanalyse: Monotherapie der Onychomykose - Biermann Medizin
Belgium to reopen borders with neighbours on June 15
DDG: Ernährungsreport des BMEL ignoriert Ausmaß der Fehlernährung
Cholesterol levels dropping in Western nations—but rising in Asia
Studie: Aussagen zur Ansteckungsgefahr durch Kinder bleiben bestehen
how physicians used it 500 years ago to control the bubonic plague
Uniklinik Ulm bietet nun Fertilitätsbehandlugnen mit Samenspende an
Remote devices for telehealth see surge in demand
Wundheilung detailliert aufgeschlüsselt - Biermann Medizin
Diet, gut microbes affect effectiveness of cancer treatment, research reveals
Forschung abseits von COVID-19: Kommen Krebsmedizin und Co. nun zu kurz?
Helping unlock personalised interventions for kids with developmental disabilities
Diamanttechnik im Herzkatheterlabor - Biermann Medizin
Benzodiazepine use before conception is linked to increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
Verbesserte Wundheilung mit thrombozytenreichem Plasma
Method to identify neural inputs that convey information for defined behaviors
Virchowbund: Die richtigen Lehren aus Corona ziehen
UK mulls 'air bridges' with low-risk countries
3-D-Gebärdensprach-Avatar - Biermann Medizin
A satisfying romantic relationship may improve breast cancer survivors' health
UKE-Studie untersucht Folgen der Corona-Pandemie für die psychische Gesundheit von Kindern
Families and communities are central to the recovery of Sierra Leone's former child soldiers
KMT-Patienten: Sichere Augenversorgung in der Corona-Krise
Expression of certain genes may affect vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder
Corona-Pandemie verschlechtert wirtschaftliche Lage der Krankenhäuser
Negative emotions cause stronger appetite responses in emotional eaters
Final states reopen amid worries that protests will spark new COVID infections
Scientists find a switch to flip and turn off breast cancer growth and metastasis
Impact of COVID-19 infection in blood cancer patients
Study in twins finds our sensitivity is partly in our genes
NIH funded research related to every new cancer drug approved from 2010-2016, totals $64B
Social status helped and hindered by the same behaviors and traits worldwide
Concerns mount about two studies on drugs for coronavirus
New CRISPR advance may solve key quandary
Spain records no virus deaths for second day running
Kölner Forschungsprojekt gestartet: COVID-19-Krise aus Sicht des ambulanten Sektors
Understanding the role of cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition in brain health
Neue Nachwuchsgruppe „Zellbiologie der RNA-Viren“ am HPI
Maria shriver and AARP take on Alzheimer's in women
Viel weniger Schlaganfall- und Herzinfarktpatienten in Notaufnahmen
Rolling lockdowns could protect both economies and health in low-income countries
Neue Leitung der Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie am Klinikum Kassel
Lab-grown miniature human livers successfully transplanted in rats
Mehr Lebertransplantationen im ersten Quartal
Facts and myths about obesity, emerging as a key factor in COVID-19 hospitalization
Jagd auf lebensbedrohliche Metastasen - Biermann Medizin
Where are kids getting the most 'empty calories'?
Handhygiene: Zunahme von Handekzemen - Biermann Medizin
Tauvid receives approval for tau pathology imaging
COVID-19: Reproduktionszahl genauer geschätzt - Biermann Medizin
You don't smoke, but your home could have thirdhand smoke residue
Evolutionäre Rätsel Säugetierohr - Biermann Medizin
Back to school in masks as Singapore eases virus curbs
Welche Rolle spielen B-Zellen bei kardiovaskulären Erkrankungen?
Pandemic antibiotics surge will cause more deaths: WHO
Studie: Sterberisiko nach Operationen bei Corona-Infizierten erhöht
Lockdowns ease in Florida, Europe with new tourism rules
Reduced humidity linked to increased COVID-19 risk
Glaukomentstehung: Welche Rolle spielt die körpereigene Immunabwehr?
Resistance to immunosurveillance favors cluster cancer metastasis
ADHS: Gleichstromstimulation zeigt klinische Wirkung
Study examines how Americans are coping with COVID-19 stress
Rheumaerkrankungen in der Corona-Situation - Biermann Medizin
Warmer temperatures slow COVID-19 transmission, but not by much
Virus still potent says WHO, after claim by Italian doctor
Engineers design nanoparticles that stimulate the immune system, helping it to attack tumors
Genetic cause of difference in sexual development uncovered
For each day's delay in social distancing, a COVID-19 outbreak lasts days longer
Evidence supports physical distancing, masks, and eye protection to help prevent COVID-19
Study seeks to optimize comfort for patients removed from ventilators at end of life
Europe loosens lockdown as virus tightens grip on Americas
Your brain needs to be ready to remember?
Italy records fewest new virus cases since February
Most Americans still more worried about COVID-19 spread than the economy
Britain takes its biggest step yet out of lockdown
Obesity a major risk factor for COVID-19 hospitalization
Pathogen scientist collaborating on vaccine that could prevent and treat COVID-19
Scientists develop means for detecting early stages of lung problems caused by COVID-19
UTSA software helps patients receive faster post-pandemic care
Almost 6 in 10 Aussies living in aged care are in inadequately staffed facilities
North Korea to reopen schools as virus fears ease
Moscow eases lockdown despite high virus caseload
Hauchdünne Fasern sollen Nerven nach Hirn-OP schützen
Debates rage in Britain as some children go back to school
Mögliches Referenzmessverfahren für die Analyse auf SARS-CoV-2
Putzfimmel im Gehirn - Biermann Medizin
Arbeitsbedingungen in der Intensivpflege prekärer denn je – DGIIN veröffentlicht Stellungnahme
US records 1,225 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours: Johns Hopkins
Coronavirus hopes and fears center on 'immunity'
Assessing cancer diagnosis in children with birth defects
Public health campaigns can do better on cannabis harm reduction
Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

New research finds 'Dr. Google' is almost always wrong

Sun May 17 , 2020
New Edith Cowan University research has found online symptom checkers are almost always wrong. Credit: Unsplash Many people turn to ‘Dr. Google’ to self-diagnose their health symptoms and seek medical advice, but online symptom checkers are only accurate about a third of the time, according to new Edith Cowan University […]