Coronavirus is surging around the globe, with governments blaming growing complacency among citizens — even as they send mixed messages with attempted economic reopenings.
Driving the news: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paused England's reopening today and expanded the mandatory use of face masks. His government also reimposed stringent lockdowns across some northern cities.
- Johnson said it was "time to squeeze the brake pedal" and delay opening venues like casinos and bowling alleys — less than one month after reopening pubs and restaurants.
Why it matters, via Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer: "We have probably reached the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up as a society. ... The idea that we can open up everything is clearly wrong. Choices will need to be made."
The same situation is playing out worldwide, Axios World editor David Lawler catalogues:
- Vietnam, which had eliminated community transmission for 99 days, saw its first deaths today.
- Japan is facing many more cases now than during its first wave, even as it promotes domestic travel to boost the economy.
- Australia recorded 13 deaths on Thursday, its highest daily death toll so far.
- Spain and Belgium, which both just emerged from strict lockdowns, are recording case levels not seen since May.
- Catalonia is back under curfew, with nearly 7,000 cases recorded there just last week.
The bottom line: If things sound bad elsewhere, the U.S. still has the world's largest reported outbreak by far — with only Brazil and India anywhere near its daily case totals.