Paris and Shanghai Disney salons reopen despite global alarm over second wave of coronavirus

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BERLIN / PARIS (Reuters) – A global alarm sounded Monday about a second potential wave of coronavirus cases after Germany, which has relatively successfully slowed the epidemic, has reported that infections have spread to again accelerated after the first provisional steps to facilitate locking.

But in the United States, which has by far the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, President Donald Trump has accused Democrats of reopening states too slowly for political gain but without providing evidence.

The news that the “reproduction rate” – the number of people infected with each person with the disease – has risen to 1.1 in Germany has cast a shadow over the reopening of businesses ranging from hair salons from Paris to Shanghai Disneyland. A rate that remains above 1 means that the virus is spreading exponentially.

Fears that a second wave of infections could thwart the reopening of the global economy have helped to lower stock prices around the world and push oil prices even lower. [MKTS/GLOB] [O/R]

Investors wagered heavily on a rapid economic recovery last month despite much worse data than in living memory. This has opened a gap between soaring stock markets and the plummeting economies they are supposed to reflect.

Trump, who is now running for re-election in November amid a paralyzed economy, is pushing U.S. states to reopen quickly, against recommendations from health experts to act more cautiously to avoid a resurgence of the virus, who killed over 80,000 people in the United States.

Some of the hardest hit states are led by Democratic governors, such as Pennsylvania; the republican president encouraged reopening in these states in defiance of their governors with tweets urging people to “release” them.

“The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what it means,” he tweeted Monday. “Democrats are making slow progress across the United States for political gain.”

EUROPE SLOWLY REOPES

In Europe, Spain and France have taken important new steps to ease tight blockades, while Britain, second only to the United States in its balance sheet, has released cautious measures that critics say have sent mixed messages.

In Paris, traffic circulated along the Champs-Élysées while workers cleaned the storefronts to reopen for the first time since March.

“Everyone is a little nervous. Wow! We don’t know where we’re going but we are gone, “said Marc Mauny, a hairdresser who opened his salon in western France at midnight.

Mickey Mouse welcomed thinned crowds to Shanghai, the first Disney theme park to reopen, with a strict ticket limit. The parades and fireworks were canceled, and workers and guests had to wear face masks and have their temperature controlled.

“I think (these measures) make tourists feel comfortable,” said Kay Yu, a 29-year-old pass holder wearing a Minnie Mouse hat.

However, the city of Wuhan, in central China, the cause of the global epidemic, has reported its first group of infections since the lifting of its severe lockout a month ago.

Visitors hold face masks in Shanghai Disneyland Theme Park as it reopens following a stop due to the coronavirus disease epidemic (COVID-19), at the Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China , May 11, 2020. REUTERS / Aly Song

Germany is regarded worldwide as the largest European country that has succeeded most successfully in stopping the spread of the virus, thanks to an extensive testing program.

He is gradually reopening shops and factories, with restaurants and cafes which should soon open their doors.

Following an increase in the estimated reproductive rate or “R” to 1.13 this weekend, Monday, new cases have declined, but the “R” value at 1.07 was still above the critical threshold of 1.00.

German authorities say “R” becomes more volatile as the total number of infections decreases, and a brief spike is not necessarily dangerous.

But Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was crucial that “people follow the basic rules” to keep their distance, to wear masks and to be considerate of others.

“IT IS NOT OVER UNTIL IT IS OVER”

In South Korea, which has largely avoided a foreclosure with an extensive early detection and contact tracing program, authorities were rushing to contain a new nightclub epidemic.

“It is not over until it is over … We must never let our guard down,” said President Moon Jae-In on Sunday.

The British government has offered ministerial briefings and documents to flesh out Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 13-minute televised speech on Sunday, establishing a gradual path to reopening the economy.

The plan includes advice on avoiding public transportation and wearing face covers, as well as a 14-day quarantine for most international arrivals, and detailed advice for employers.

Dr Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency program, called for “extreme vigilance” in the form of tests and contact tracing as countries relaxed the restrictions.

“If the disease persists at a low level without the ability to investigate the clusters, there is always the possibility that the virus will take off again,” he said at an online press conference.

WHO has noted that Germany, South Korea and China all have such programs.

Some of the countries and territories that are opening their economies do not expect a lasting decline in the spread of the virus.

Russia has overtaken Italy and Britain to report the highest number of cases in the world after the United States and Spain. However, President Vladimir Putin has announced plans to ease nationwide lockdowns starting Tuesday.

Slideshow (21 Images)

India, which has blocked its 1.3 billion inhabitants since March, reported a record daily increase in the number of cases, but said it would start restarting passenger rail services with 15 special trains , from Tuesday on.

In an effort to provide better information around the world on the pandemic, Twitter has said it will add warning labels and messages to certain tweets containing controversial or misleading information about COVID-19.

Reuters office reports; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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