LONDON – The United Kingdom reintroduced new coronavirus restrictions in northern parts of England on Thursday in half cases, also occurring across Europe and Asia, raising fears of the second wave.
“I’m worried about the second wave. I think you can see the second wave starting to go across Europe,” UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock told British broadcaster Sky News, which like NBC News is owned by Comcast Corp.
The UK reported 846 new positive cases on Thursday – the highest number of infections a day since 28 June.
More than 4 million people in Greater Manchester, the largest urban region in the north of England, and other parts of the region are once again under stricter lock-in measures. They were ordered not to mix with other houses, although they could still go to the pub and work.
“The problem with this virus is that it grows into the social contact that makes life worth living,” Hancock told Sky. “I fully understand the human impact of this, but unfortunately it’s the way the virus goes.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday that he plans to reopen high-risk public spaces – such as casinos, theaters and sports venues – to be postponed until 1 August until 1 August. August.
“I said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional,” Johnson said at a news conference. “With those numbers growing, our estimate is that we now have to squeeze that pedal to break … in order to keep the virus under control.”
The need to wear surface coatings in stores will also be extended to other public places such as museums and cinemas, he said.
Worldwide, the number of coronavirus cases has reached 17.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 673,000 people died.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany reported 902 new cases on Thursday – an increase the Robert Koch Institute, which is tracking the country’s data, called “regards.” A further 870 cases were reported on Friday.
At least one of the outbreaks in the country is linked to agricultural workers in the Bavarian district of Dingolfing-Landau, which has forced one company to put quarantine in its employees, the institute said.
Meanwhile, Germany has also joined Britain in implementing stricter travel regulations on people arriving from parts of Spain.
The UK’s move to require travelers from Spain to quarantine for 14 days was announced last weekend with immediate effect after the country reported a number of outbreaks, causing a strike for the British there on holiday .
On Thursday, Spain’s health ministry reported the biggest daily jump in new cases as the lockout ended with more than 1,000 new infections for the second day in a row.
Compared to the U.S., there is an increase of about 58,000 confirmed cases in 24 hours between Thursday and Friday, according to NBC News counts.
There have also been spikes in coronavirus cases across Asia.
In Japan, 463 new cases were reported in the capital Tokyo on Friday, with the addition of 367 new cases reported the previous day.
The city government is now calling for restaurants and bars to shorten their opening hours through August in an effort to limit spills. A system of stickers has also been introduced to highlight restaurants and shops that are safe for the public to enter.
“Our lives have changed. Our lifestyle has changed. So our behavior must change as well,” said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
Koike warned that if the situation worsens, it could call for a regional state of emergency, although it would not be as restrictive as previous measures taken to keep the economy afloat.
Vietnam’s health ministry reported its highest daily increase as cases first surfaced in January with 45 new infections confirmed on Friday. This threatens the impressive record of the country containing the virus.
No coronavirus deaths have yet been reported in Vietnam, and before the virus re-emerged this week, the country had recorded 100 days without a locally transmitted case.
Hong Kong reported another 3,151 cases on Friday. This is followed by warnings from Chief Executive Carrie Lam earlier this week that the territory was on the brink of a significant outbreak.
The territory was initially praised for the weather of the first two waves of the pandemic. A sharp rise in cases starting earlier this month has sparked new restrictions, including mandatory indoor and outdoor masks.
The United States remains the worst-hit country with nearly 4.4 million cases and more than 150,000 deaths, according to the NBC News tracker.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Andy Eckardt, Mai Nishiyama and Reuters contributed.