Rising Coronavirus Infections Seen Worldwide

Customers dine outside Dudley’s, Monday, June 22, 2020, in New York. New York City ventured into a crucial stage of reopening as stores let people in Monday, offices brought workers back, restaurants seated customers outdoors and residents both welcomed and worried about rebounding from the nation’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak. AP Photo/John Minchillo

BERLIN (AP) — Nations around the world and several U.S. states struggle to contain a surge of coronavirus infections as lockdowns are eased. Germany slapped new restrictions on a region where hundreds were infected at a slaughterhouse.

Rapid increases in cases across the U.S. South and West are raising fears that progress against the virus is slipping away. The United States has the most infections and deaths in the world, with 2.3 million cases and over 120,000 confirmed virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

In Germany, more than 1,550 people have tested positive for coronavirus at the Toennies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck and thousands more workers and family members have been put under a quarantine to try to halt the outbreak.

On Tuesday, North Rhine-Westphalia state Gov. Armin Laschet said people in Guetersloh and parts of a neighboring county will now face the same restrictions that Germany saw in March and April, including curbs on social gatherings and bar closings.

“The purpose is to calm the situation, to expand testing to establish whether or not the virus has spread beyond the employees of Toennies,” Laschet said.

Laschet expressed frustration at the company’s handling of the outbreak, saying authorities had to order Toennies to release the names of its employees.

“The readiness to cooperate could have been greater,” he said.

Union officials have blamed poor working and living conditions that migrant workers faced under a loosely regulated sub-contractor.

Across the Channel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday announced a major rollback of lockdown measures that will let millions in England back into pubs, cinemas, churches and hair salons starting July 4. The move came amid strong pressure from businesses to ease social distancing rules.

Although gyms, pools, spas and tattoo parlors will remain shut, Johnson told lawmakers that “our long national hibernation” was coming to an end.

Pubs and restaurants wanted the government to cut its social distancing requirements in half to 1 meter (3 feet) between people indoors, and say many won’t survive without the change.

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Source: Baptist Press