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New COVID-19 Cases Emerge in Nations and U.S. States That Relaxed Strict Lockdown Measures

May 14, 2020 (EIRNS)—In several nations around the world, as well as inside the United States, where stricter lockdown measures have been lifted, new cases of the novel coronavirus are emerging. Some nations like South Korea and China, with healthcare infrastructure in place, have the ability to respond swiftly. Others, particularly many U.S. states, do not. Look at these examples:

South Korea: Of 133 new confirmed cases, 75% are among individuals between 19 and 29 years of age. Authorities believe this is the consequence of lockdown-easing measures adopted at the end of April in nightclubs and bars. The government has acted aggressively to contain it.

China: Aside from 6 reported cases in Wuhan, another cluster of 12 cases appeared in the northeastern city of Shulan in Jilin Province. There’s suspicion that the cluster may stem from North Korea, given the area’s proximity to the border. The city is being sealed off.

Europe: While the EU is discussing plans for a phased restart of summer travel, Germany and Italy are seeing new cases.

South America: Chile’s situation is dramatic. In the 24 hours between May 12-13, cases in the capital of Santiago surged by 60%—2,260 new infections—causing President Sebastian Piñera to reimpose strict lockdown as of May 15, in about 30 districts of the capital where restrictions had been lifted. Eighty percent of Chile’s 34,000-plus infections are in Santiago.

United States: There is an uptick in COVID-19 cases in many states that have relaxed quarantine or other restrictions, among them Alabama, Tennessee, North and South Dakota, Kentucky, and Texas. There are an increasing number of cases being reported in America’s “heartland,” away from coastal areas and urban centers, Britain’s Guardian reported.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC’s Squawk Box that, whereas cases in some areas, such as New York, are declining, nationally they remain “stubbornly high,” with 30,000 new cases and 2,000 deaths daily.

Reuters points out that of the 50 U.S. states that have begun some degree of relaxation, only 14 met the CDC guidelines for reopening. Reuters’ own investigation found that 19 states with at least 5,000 reported cases of COVID-19 each are seeing infections rise. Kentucky had the largest surge in new cases, with a 60% increase in the first week of May, apparently due to widespread testing at a prison that had an outbreak. Alabama had a 41% increase, even before beauty salons, bars and retail stores opened. In Mississippi, where people can dine inside restaurants, cases were up 19%. Minnesota had the highest increase, up 50% in early May, in part due to expanded testing of anyone with symptoms. Previously only a limited number of patients could be tested. In California, where lockdown has been consistently maintained, new cases rose by 14% last week.

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