The coronavirus is “easily the most severe” public health emergency the World Health Organization (WHO) has ever faced, its director-general said Monday, as countries that previously appeared to have the pandemic under control recorded an uptick in cases.
Across the Asia-Pacific region, where countries were among the first hit by the virus and the first to contain it, there have been new and in some cases seemingly unexplained increases in the number of infections. Governments that had previously been lauded for their response to the pandemic now seem to be struggling.
All this is concerning news for those where the first wave of the virus has yet to come fully under control, let alone in the disaster zones of the United States and Brazil. It’s especially scary as there are only a few more weeks of summer left in parts of the northern hemisphere, and many epidemiologists expect the virus to peak again in winter.
Setbacks in Asia-Pacific
On Tuesday, China reported the highest number of locally transmitted coronavirus cases since early March for the second consecutive day, with the majority of the 64 new domestic cases in Xinjiang. The far western region has seen a fresh outbreak in its capital Urumqi since July 15, after nearly five months of no new cases.
Down south in Hong Kong, the semi-autonomous Chinese city is also experiencing a major new outbreak, with more than a thousand new cases in the