After relaxing restrictions during the pandemic, some countries are having to lock down again

Countries that recently eased their coronavirus-related restrictions—including Lebanon, South Korea, and Iran—have had to reinstate their lockdowns after seeing new COVID-19 cases, the Washington Post reported

On May 12, Lebanon ordered a four-day, near-complete lockdown just two weeks after it began easing restrictions because of a surge in infections. With a population of 5 million people, Lebanon had managed to keep its infection rate to a relatively low 850 cases with a strict lockdown. But after the country eased its restrictions last week, it saw a spike this week with 36 new cases on Saturday alone

Lebanon is not alone. Last week, South Korea walked back its go-ahead for bars and clubs to reopen after the country saw its most massive infection clusters yet. Many of the new cases reported were connected to one infected man who went bar-hopping on May 1. 

Wuhan, China ordered its 11 million residents to get tested after six new cases emerged a little more than a month after Wuhan thought the city was coronavirus-free. Wuhan was open for 35 days before new clusters appeared. 

Although Iran still plans to reopen schools by May 15, it ordered Abadan in the southwestern province of Khuzestan to reimpose a lockdown after it experienced a spike in cases. Patients with COVID-19 tripled, and the hospitalization of patients has risen by 60%. 

Japanese island Hokkaido eased strict restrictions on March 18, after it appeared that the situation had stabilized, and then saw a second wave bigger than the first, Time reported

As states in the U.S. begin to follow suit and open their economies, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci warned in a Senate hearing on May 12 that it could lead to “some suffering and death” if done too quickly and without following CDC guidelines.  

Sources: Washington Post, NPR, Al-Monitor, Time

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