Localized lockdowns show that we're in the most complex phase of coronavirus yet

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From English cities to the Spanish seaside and Australian housing estates, local lockdowns are cropping up all over the world as countries ease restrictions only to encounter new coronavirus outbreaks.

After months of closures, governments are eager to reopen schools and businesses to allow people to get on with their lives. But fresh clusters of infection have seen leaders forced to reimpose restrictions in some hotspots, even as rules are eased elsewhere in the same country.

Alexander Kekulé, a virology professor and Director of the Institute for Biosecurity Research in Germany, told CNN:"The only strategy we can have is a stamping-out strategy. It's the same thing we do usually when we have new clusters of infections of any novel disease." In the Italian city of Mondragone, authorities sealed off a building that housed migrant seasonal workers as a"red zone" late last month after 49 people tested positive for Covid-19. The army was sent to monitor the hotspot and a group of workers living in the building broke the quarantine to protest.

On Tuesday, Serbia recorded its highest daily death toll from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, with Vucic calling the situation in Belgrade"alarming."The English city of Leicester returned to lockdown for two weeks from July 2, with non-essential businesses shutting, people advised to minimize social contact, and schools closed for most children, after a spike in cases there.

He said there were now more test centers, boards displaying distancing rules, leaflets delivered to people's homes in different languages, and police patrolling streets and stopping cars. Campaign group Labour Behind the Label last week suggested conditions in Leicester's garment factories were increasing the risk of coronavirus transmission among low-paid and often migrant workers.

"What you end up with is just really easily stigmatizing all of certain groups of people," she said."This is really problematic, in terms of class but also in terms of ethnic groups that certain groups are going to be disproportionately more affected." On Saturday, 3,000 residents of nine densely populated public housing estates were put under full lockdown and from Wednesday, residents in metropolitan Melbourne are no longer allowed to leave their homes, except for grocery shopping, caregiving, exercise or work."We know we're on the cusp of something very, very bad if we don't get on top of this," Victoria's State Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters Tuesday, describing the surge in numbers as unsustainable.

 

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