Everyone was facing the delicate balance between trying to restart battered economies without causing another wave of coronavirus infections.
Fear of infection spikes in countries that eased theirs restrictions has been implemented in the last few days in Germany, where new clusters were attached to three slaughterhouses; in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus started; and in South Korea, where a nightclub customer was linked to 85 new cases.
U.S. health officials watch for the coming days for any resurgence of the virus two weeks after states gradually began to reopen.
Authorities have warned that the scourge could return with a vengeance without extensive testing and tracking of infected people’s contacts and efforts to gather contact tracing teams are underway in Europe and the U.S.
While some countries such as Germany have established robust tracking capabilities, other countries are far behind. Britain gave up an initial effort in mid-March as the virus’s rapid spread made it impossible. Now it is recruiting 18,000 people to do a job of tracking contacts.
The UK and other countries are also developing contact tracking mobile phone apps that can show if anyone has crossed paths with an infected person.
In the hardest-hit corner in the United States, contact trackers began New York online training Monday. A May 15 target for reopening parts of the state is linked to the ability to track the spread of the virus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo put a requirement on 30 contact trackers per 100,000 inhabitants for areas to be reopened. This means that around 6,000 workers across the country are doing what he described as a daunting task. Cuomo said contact tracking is “a logistical nightmare that has never been done before.”
Contract tracking across the rest of the U.S. is a patchwork of approaches and contingency levels.
In the course of resolving the country’s shutdown, the German authorities have spelled out a specific level of infection that could lead to the reintroduction of restrictions in local areas. Other countries – and U.S. states – have been vague about what would be enough to trigger another shutdown.
With Monday’s partial reopening in France, the c-row was formed at some Paris metro stations, but the city’s notorious traffic jams were absent. Only half of the Champs-Elysees stores were open.
Parisian hairdressers planned to charge a fee for the disposable protective gear they will have to provide to clients. Walk-ins will be a saga past, said Brigitte L’Hoste, manager of the Hair de Beaute salon.
“The beauty of the face will change, which means clients won’t come here to relax. Clients come because they need it,” said Aurelie Bollini, a cosmetologist at the salon. “They will come and aim to get the maximum done in the shortest possible time.”
Across the Atlantic, hairdressing salons in Florida struggled with tight rules and lofty demands as they reopened across much of the state, except for some hard-hit areas. The Fringe Salon in Naples was already booked throughout the week and its capacity was limited by the social distancing rules.
“It’s just pure chaos. Everyone is thrilled to have their haircut,” said owner Trish Boettcher. “People just randomly call who are not our regular clients.”
In South Korea, the government came down again, stopping school openings scheduled this week and reintroducing restrictions on nightclubs and bars. It is trying to track 5,500 patrons of a Seoul nightlife district through credit card transactions, cellphone records and security footage.
In China, Shanghai Disneyland reopened, but with limited visitors who had to wear face masks and get their temperatures checked.
About half of Spain’s 47 million people switched to looser restrictions, began socializing, shopping in small shops and sitting outdoors at restaurants. Its largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, remained under lockdown.
Spanish hotels opened again with precautions – but also economically bleak prospects – because people are not allowed to travel outside their provinces and get flights from abroad.
“Unfortunately, this year’s business is already lost. It will be disastrous, ”said Manuel Dominguez, manager at Seville’s Dona Maria Hotel.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a modest easing of the country’s shutdown, but urged citizens not to ruin the progress made. However, some people were confused when the government moved its slogan from “Stay at home” to “Stay alert”. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland stick to the old motto.
Faced with the risk of more confusion, the British government on Monday turned a reverse face, asking people to cover their mouths and noses in stores and in buses and subways.
People in jobs that cannot be done at home “should be actively encouraged to go to work” this week, Johnson said. He also set a goal from June 1 to start reopening schools and shops if Britain can control new infections. Johnson himself is the only world leader to have suffered a severe attack of COVID-19.
At London’s Waterloo train station, not everyone was convinced.
“I’m nervous about going back because I have a family and they’ve been isolated since the beginning. I feel like I’m now putting them in danger,” said Peter Osu, 45, who was back at work on a construction site.
In the US, Trump administration officials spoke optimistically about a relatively quick economic rebound from the pandemic – but then announced that Vice President Mike Pence is “self-isolating” after a nurse tested positive.
USA. has seen 1.3 million confirmed infections and about 80,000 deaths, the vast majority in the world, according to a figure from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, 4 million people have been reported infected and more than 280,000 have died, over 150,000 of them in Europe. Health experts believe all of these numbers underestimate the real toll for the outbreak.
Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington Institute, which has created a widely cited model projecting the outbreak, said the state’s reopening efforts will result in more cases and deaths, noting that they are rising more than expected in Illinois, Arizona, Florida and California.
India reported its biggest daily increase in cases on Monday, even as it prepared to resume train service.
In South Africa, Cape Town authorities and the surrounding province were considering reintroducing restrictions because the area has become a hotspot, accounting for about half of the country’s 200 virus deaths.
Perry reported from Wellington, New Zealand. Associated Press reporters around the world contributed.
Follow the AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak