As the US epicenter New York made progress in the battle against the deadly pandemic on Sunday, European countries began to prepare for a slow reopening.
Now, governments around the world are debating how and when to reduce the blockade, which has confined more than half of humanity (4.5 billion people) to their homes and severely damaged the global economy.
Europe saw encouraging signs on Sunday, with daily deaths and infection rates falling in Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom.
According to Agence France-Presse, of the more than 2.3 million deaths reported globally, the African continent accounts for nearly two-thirds of the nearly 165,000 deaths reported globally.
In the United States, the country with the largest number of deaths and infections, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, said the epidemic was “declining”, although he warned that there is now “no time for arrogance”.
There is increasing evidence that the blockade and social isolation are slowing the spread of the virus. This has strengthened the plans of many countries, began to relax restrictions on sports, and eased the enormous pressure on the national economy.
Spain, which has been hit hard, has extended the nationwide shutdown period, but said it will relax restrictions to allow children to have time outside. Switzerland, Denmark and Finland have all started to reopen shops and schools.
After announcing that the virus is “under control,” Germany will allow some stores to reopen on Monday, while Italy, which was the worst-hit European country, is considering deregulation.
Iran, where the deadliest incident in the Middle East broke out, allowed some “low risk” businesses to reopen on Saturday.
The United States and China have produced temporary signs of hope for President Donald Trump’s suggestion that a laboratory in the zero-ground city Wuhan may trigger a pandemic. The laboratory rejected the theory of “impossible”.