Countries Around the World Believed to Have Contained Coronavirus Face New Waves of Infection

A man puts on his face mask to protect against the coronavirus in Beijing on Tuesday as he passes by the Chinese character for “complicated.” (Andy Wong / Associated Press)

In Australia, soldiers go door to door to find out who’s broken quarantine in Melbourne, which is back under lockdown a second time.

A coronavirus outbreak on a Norwegian cruise ship is feared to have spread the disease in towns along the Scandinavian country’s scenic coast.

Hong Kong, a city that earlier went weeks without reporting new infections, is scrambling to build temporary hospitals to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 patients.

Eight months after first emerging from China, the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe at a relentless pace, sparking outbreaks where there largely were none and resurfacing in countries that fought off earlier waves.

The fresh spikes in countries that had successful containment strategies, such as Vietnam, also underscore the challenges facing the United States, which has struggled to implement a cohesive plan to beat back a global pandemic that has killed more Americans than citizens of any other nation.

The World Health Organization raised the grim possibility that no vaccine will ever eliminate the virus and urged all governments to instead take the necessary steps to stem its spread. The coronavirus has infected more than 18 million worldwide and killed nearly 700,000.

“There’s no silver bullet at the moment, and there might never be,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, told reporters Monday. “For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control. Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts — do it all.”

Vietnam began testing tens of thousands of people linked to an outbreak in the tourist hub of Da Nang after an outbreak was reported late last month. The Southeast Asian country hadn’t had a domestic transmission for more than three months and was lauded for its quick response to the virus, which included sealing its borders and imposing mass quarantines.

Health officials are unsure of the origins of the outbreak in Da Nang, which was linked to over 200 cases and the first COVID-19-related death in the country last Friday. Official cases of coronavirus in Vietnam, a nation of about 97 million, stood at 652, with seven deaths as of Tuesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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SOURCE: LA Times, David Pierson

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