Tokyo in the time of coronavirus. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty

Many politicians and public health officials sounded a similar lockdown refrain in the spring: let’s do this right so we only have to do it once.

Reality check: While some countries have thus far managed to keep cases under control after opening up, dozens of countries that had initially turned a corner are now seeing a worrying rebound. They have to decide if and how to return to lockdown — and whether their populations will stand for it.

Driving the news: Protesters have gathered again tonight in Belgrade, Serbia, following two nights of violent clashes. The tumult began after a sudden uptick in cases led President Aleksandar Vucic to announce a new coronavirus curfew.

  • Serbia had initially avoided a major outbreak but lifted what had been one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns in early May and began to allow crowds to pack into sporting events and bars. Parliamentary elections also went ahead in June.
  • Vucic’s critics claim Serbia reopened too rapidly and is now paying the price. Protests both nights began peacefully but ended in violence, some of it inflicted by police.
  • Where things stand: Vucic has backed down, but gatherings of more than 10 people will be banned and indoor venues will have to close early.

Japan has also seen its case count — long strikingly low given its large, dense population — tick upwards in recent weeks.

  • Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura denied yesterday that there was any need for a new state of emergency. Reopening plans, including allowing some fans back in stadiums, are moving ahead.
  • The government’s primary focus is the economy, as was demonstrated by the replacement of a panel of scientific experts with a new body that includes business leaders, the Washington Post notes.
  • Officials point out that many of the new cases are among younger people, death rates remain low, and hospitals aren’t under strain.

Other countries have been quicker to react to spikes. Melbourne, Australia entered six weeks of lockdown after a record-high 191 infections were recorded in the state of Victoria on Tuesday.

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s second-largest city was sacrificing for the whole country so that its outbreak would be contained there.
  • Chinese cities, including Beijing, have also seen quick snapbacks as the government attempts to confine outbreaks to one location.

Several European hotspots — Leicester in the U.K., Guetersloh in Germany, parts of Catalonia and Galicia in Spain — have re-entered lockdowns.

  • The Israeli government is considering neighborhood-level restrictions, as its success at containing the virus seems to be unraveling.
  • Targeted restrictions have already been applied in 19 Lisbon boroughs, a few Rwandan villages and a single building in Italy, per CNN.
  • These small-scale clampdowns could help countries avoid the deep economic harm of the first lockdown wave.

What to watch: It has been exactly four months since the first lockdown outside of China was announced, in Italy. It will likely be far longer before a vaccine is widely distributed.

  • Some countries may avoid major new outbreaks. Others, particularly in the developing world, will reject new shutdowns even if they don’t.

The bottom line: We can expect to see many cities, and perhaps countries, dancing in and out of lockdown in the months to come.

Go deeper

Twitter to label state-affiliated media accounts

Photo Illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter will begin labeling accounts belonging to state-affiliated media outlets from countries on the U.N. Security Council, it announced Thursday.

The big picture: The new policy will affect “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content” in China, France, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S., according to the announcement.

Updated Aug 5, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Despite some case decreases, COVID-19 deaths are on the rise in the U.S., with California reporting a record-high average this week.

Driving the news: President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 18,982,658 — Total deaths: 712,266— Total recoveries — 11,477,642Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 4,873,747 — Total deaths: 159,931 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.