Coronavirus News Asia

Europe opens borders, but virus spreads elsewhere

Live version of coronavirus map

A raft of EU nations reopened their borders to fellow Europeans Monday, but a new coronavirus outbreak in China and surging death tolls in the Americas underlined the bleak struggles still ahead in the pandemic.

More than eight million people have now been infected with the virus worldwide since it emerged in China late last year, and more than 435,000 have died, according to an AFP count based on official figures.

The virus is surging in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the death toll passed 80,000 – the majority in Brazil, which has the second-highest number of infections and deaths in the world, after the United States.

Iran, India and Saudi Arabia have also reported worrying increases in deaths and infections, adding to concern the world still faces a long fight against Covid-19.

Click on the link at the top to see a live version of virus information. Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering produced this website, which displays statistics about deaths and confirmed cases of the coronavirus, or Covid-19. Image: Johns Hopkins

‘It’s been five months’

Caseloads have declined recently across many parts of Europe, and governments are keen to ease lockdowns that have saved lives but devastated economies and taken a psychological and emotional toll.

Belgium, France, Germany and Greece were among the countries that lifted border restrictions Monday. In Spain, a planeload of German tourists flew to the Balearic islands in an experimental pilot project.

The European Union launched an app, “Re-open EU” – available in 24 languages – to help travelers find out which EU countries they can enter.

At Brussels Zaventem airport, Joy Kamel, a student traveling to join her father in France, waited to board a flight to Marseille.

“It’s been five months since I’ve seen him,” she said. “I’m in the middle of an exam, but since I’m taking them online, I might as well take advantage.”

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