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Europe’s COVID-19 Threat Subsiding: Spain, UK Record Lowest Death Tolls, Italy to Reopen Shops & Salons, Football Returns in Germany


Cyclists return to streets in Rome | (Photo Credits: AFP)

Madrid, May 17: The coronavirus wave in Europe is losing steam and hitting the downward trajectory with each passing day. For Spain, which was once the second worst-affected country in the world, Sunday was a turning point in its battle against the pandemic as the lowest number of per day death was recorded. The fatality rate also plunged in the United Kingdom. Mumbai, India’s Financial Capital, Sees COVID-19 Toll Nearing 20,000-Mark.

Italy, where new cases of coronavirus continue to fall and was recorded as 675 today, has decided to re-open shops, restaurants and salons across the nation. With the kind of improvement, said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the country is hopeful of opening its borders and most of the economic sectors by June.

Spain, in the last 24 hours, recorded 87 deaths due to COVID-19. The number is lowest in the last two months. Britain also registered its lowest daily increase since late March, with 170 fatalities. Both the countries have significantly reduced the restrictions and are allowing both essential and non-essential economic activities to resume.

Germany’s Bundesliga at the weekend became the first top football league to return after lockdown, and defending champions Bayern Munich was up against Union Berlin inside an empty stadium in the capital on Sunday evening. The former ended up scoring 2-0 victory over Berlin in the highly anticipated return clash.

Already attracting a record TV audience, the restart is under intense scrutiny as a test case, with top sports competitions trying to find ways to resume play without increasing the risk of spreading the virus. The Bundesliga League, however, drew some flak as players were seen violating hygiene norms by hugging in each other and even kissing cheeks during the post-match celebrations.

Apart from Italy, Germany, Spain and UK, other countries in Europe which were affected by the pandemic are now moving away from the restrictionary approach.

Slovenia on Saturday announced that it would not only be lifting lockdown, but also open up its borders for tourists. The mountainous nation, flocked by tourists from across the world, has so far reported around 1,500 cases and 103 deaths.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, mosques reopened on May 13, for the first time in last 50 days, to allow Muslims to observe congregational prayers in the month of Ramadan. The morning (fajr), evening (maghrib) and night (isha) prayers are permitted to be held, along with the special Friday and Taraweeh prayers.

While Europe is gradually walking out from the COVID-19 crisis, nations in the third world are now feared to be the new hotspots. India and Brazil are recording exponential rise in new cases, with their tallies peaking by 4,987 and 506 cases, respectively, in the past 24 hours. The respective tally of the two countries has peaked to 233,648 and 90,927.

Worldwide, the pandemic has infected more than 4.6 million people and claimed more than 314,000 lives. The worst-hit nation is the United States, whereas, the overall count accelerated to above 1.5 million, with over 7,500 new cases in the last 24 hours. The sharpest spike in the world was recorded in Russia, where the daily toll of infections was recorded as 9,709 — taking the overall count of cases to 281,752.