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COVID-19 Informer: Tug of war between restrictions and economics

Tug of war between restrictions and economics

The world over June 1 marked a return of certain freedoms.

The Colosseum opened its doors in Rome, the Vatican Museums had a long line of masked visitors, ferries restarted in Bangladesh, campsites and golf courses opened in Greece, students returned in Britain and Dutch bars and restaurants were free to welcome patrons.

But still, coronavirus cases are on the increase in some countries, while others are finally starting to see a downturn.

Spain is reporting no deaths in a 24-hour period from the coronavirus for the first time since March.

Emergency health response chief Fernando Simon said the development was "very, very encouraging".

He told a news conference there were only 71 new infections in the past 24 hours.

The official death toll now stands at 27,127, with 240,000 confirmed cases across the country, with a strict lockdown starting to ease as the outbreak ebbs.

France is moving to its second stage of easing restrictions from Tuesday, as cases in hospitals and intensive care continue to fall.

Parks, bars, restaurants and beaches are expected to reopen under the second stage.

The ministry said in a daily update that 31 coronavirus deaths were recorded in hospitals in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 18,506 since March 1.

Italy has recorded 60 deaths against 75 the day before, with new daily cases reported at 178, down from 355 the day prior.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 33,475, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

South Africa is moving to kick-start its economy with a partial lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

AAP reports President Cyril Ramaphosa was widely praised when he ordered a strict lockdown at the end of March, but the measures have battered its economy, already in recession before the coronavirus.

But moving to "level 3" lockdown has been questioned by some who say it will increase the number of coronavirus cases, which jumped above 30,000 over the weekend.

A warning tale comes from North Macedonia where authorities have announced the second-highest daily increase of new COVID-19 infections since late February, after restrictions were recently eased.

Health Minister Venko Filipce said on Monday seven people died and 89 new cases were confirmed in the latest 24-hour reporting period - bringing the respective totals to 140 deaths and 2315 confirmed cases.

South Korea has also reported a steady rise in cases around Seoul. Hundreds of infections have been linked to nightspots, restaurants and a massive e-commerce warehouse near Seoul. The resurgence is straining the country's ability to test patients and trace their contacts.

In India, cases increased rapidly but it still eased restrictions on Monday on shops and public transport in more states.

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This story Tug of war between restrictions and economics first appeared on The Canberra Times.