Italy’s cautious reopening was meant to be buttressed by a series of measures to limit infections in Europe’s one-time epicenter. But it hasn’t been.
Distribution of millions of inexpensive surgical masks, a pilot project of 150,000 antibody tests and, eventually, the rollout of a contact-tracing app — none of this is in place as Italy experiments with its second week unlocked. The country is by no means alone in emerging from lockdown before all its infection-prevention pillars are in place.
But its problems epitomize the challenges many countries face as they seek to balance economic and health care needs while seeking to reassure terrified citizens with promises that perhaps were too optimistic, Nicole Winfield in Rome and Sylvie Corbet in Paris report.
Wuhan Mass Testing
Authorities in the Chinese city where the pandemic erupted say orders have been issued to test all 11 million residents for the virus within 10 days after a handful of fresh infections were found in the city. It’s a massive push that the U.S. and U.K., among other nations, will be watching with some astonishment.
More from the countries around world
India’s Economy: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a huge relief package to jumpstart the economy, the outbreak in the financial center of Mumbai and elsewhere is starting to overwhelm hospitals, prisons and slums, complicating any recovery plan.
UK Economy Slumps: Official figures show it shrank by 2% in the first quarter of the year from the previous three-month period as restrictions on economic activity were ramped up ahead of the lockdown towards the end of March. The decline is the biggest since the global financial crisis in 2008. In March alone, the British economy shrank by 5.8%.
Deglobalized Dubai: The city was built and flourished on the promise of globalization, creating itself as a vital hub for the free movement of trade, people and money worldwide. All of that has been disrupted by the pandemic, which forced the cancellation of events, and caused flights to be grounded and investment to be halted.
Brazil’s Lockdown: With hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients, the country’s state and city governments are lurching forward with mandatory lockdowns against the will of President Jair Bolsonaro.
Muslim Funerals: The virus is causing pain after death for a number of Muslims in Europe. That’s because their bodies cannot be flown home for burial in the places they were born. A newly opened cemetery in the Netherlands is offering graves facing Mecca for Muslims.
Spain’s Ambulance Workers: This photo gallery captures these exhausted front-line workers in Madrid who, after helping to flatten one of Europe’s sharpest contagion curves, fear that a rebound in the outbreak could throw them into another frantic period.
South Sudan: For the first time, COVID-19 has been confirmed in a crowded civilian protection U.N.-run camp in the capital, Juba. It’s a worrying development in a country that’s one of the world’s least prepared for the virus’ spread.
Mexican Nurse: A nursing supervisor, Fabiana Zepeda, who touched the hearts of her countrymen when she made a tearful appeal for respect for health care professionals says she has now tested positive for the coronavirus.