After loosening lockdown and social distancing policies, several countries have reported new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Wuhan, the city where the virus first broke out, that has been free of new Covid-19 cases for more than a month, has reported new cases.

A series of countries loosened their lockdown policies after observing Covid-19 cases in their countries decreasing, with some having zero new cases. The following are a list of countries that have reported new Covid-19 cases after loosening their lockdown and social distancing policies, summarized from various sources.

CHINA

Wuhan has reported its first new case of the Covid-19 coronavirus after a month without any new confirmed cases. The origin of the coronavirus outbreak back in December, Wuhan hasn’t recorded a new case since April 3.

New cases have been reported occur after loosening lockdown policies and starting to re-open schools. According to the Hubei province health commission, new cases in Wuhan are asymptomatic. An 89 year old man who has reportedly not left his compound in the Dongxihu district since the Chinese New Year at the end of January has been reported as a confirmed case. His wife was also confirmed positive with Covid-19 even though she showed no symptoms, reports the Wuhan City Health Commission.

The housing complex has 20 new confirmed cases and experts say the new infections were mainly caused by community transmissions.
After the case was confirmed, medical officials carried out nucleic acid tests on local residents and found five asymptomatic infections.

This infection highlights the ongoing potential for new clusters of infections because carriers of the virus may be infected without showing symptoms. On May 9, authorities also reported eleven new confirmed cases in Shulan, highlighting potential increased risks of starting new waves of coronavirus cases.

Jilin officials raised the risk level for the city of Shulan from moderate to high, after previously lifting it from low to medium just a day before, when a woman tested positive on May 7.

SOUTH KOREA

On Sunday (10/5) South Korea confirmed 34 new cases, the highest daily number in the past month. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the country must prepare for a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In early March, South Korea had the second highest number of Covid-19 cases after China. But the country has been praised for quickly dealing with outbreaks with tactics such as conducting rapid tracing of contacts, mass testing, and the application of strict social distancing.

Unfortunately, since South Korea relaxed the social distancing rules, a group of Covid-19 cases emerged after a 29-year-old man tested positive for Covid-19 after attending three night clubs in Seoul. Due to this, Seoul city official Park Won-soon ordered all nightclubs, discos and bars to be closed.

IRAN

Iran is one of the countries most affected by the Covid-19 virus and has begun to reduce restrictions. But new cases have reportedly increased sharply in all provinces according to a Tasnim news report.

The Governor of Khuzestan Province, Gholamreza Shariati, said the increase in cases was caused by people who have not obeyed rules of social distancing. “Because of this, the number of Covid-19 patients in the province has tripled and inpatient hospital stays have increased by 60 percent,” he said.

INDIA

Last week, health officials rushed to deal with a Covid-19 virus outbreak at one of the largest fruit and vegetable markets in Asia, in the southern city of Chennai.

The market has been linked with more than 500 cases of the coronavirus and as many as 7 thousand people were tracked and quarantined. The market that has remained open during the lockdown in India is the center of the region’s food supply chain. The challenge for public health officials is to track the many traders, workers, and buyers who visit the market.

Experts say the cluster has exposed poor Indian supervision during the pandemic. The lockdown extension has been rejected by many who have not heeded recommended precautionary measures. Experts warned that market clusters could result in a major case of Indian contagion.

GERMANY

Previously Germany also received accolades regarding its response to overcoming the Covid-19 outbreak due to a decrease in reported cases. But now the Germans are wary of the second and even third wave of Covid-19, which threaten to reinstate restrictions in the country.

Chancellor Angela Merkel met yesterday with 16 German governors to discuss easing further restrictions that have paralyzed Europe’s largest economy. Last week, she announced the gradual re-opening of large stores, schools, nurseries, restaurants and bars, following increasing impatience with restrictions across the country.

According to The Guardian, the reproduction rate (R), which shows how many new cases result from one infected person, rose for two consecutive days above the critical threshold after the announcement.

“There will be a second wave, but the problem is to what extent. Is it a small wave or a big wave? It’s too early to say,” said Olivier Schwartz, head of the virus and immunity unit at the French Pasteur Institute.

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