As June 1st approaches, almost all countries have started to relax the restrictions and reopen their economies post the coronavirus lockdown. The key question is whether this reopening is premature. Here is the current situation.

The Blueprint: China Case

China was successful in containing the virus outbreak mostly in one region, and the full lockdown was gradually lifted once the daily new cases reached zero – no new community infections. Since, there have been few imported cases, and minor outbreaks in some areas. The daily new cases still remain very close to zero.

The EU case (Italy, Spain, Germany, France…)

Most EU countries had the peak in the new daily cases (7K-8K level) in late March, early April, and since there has been a steady downtrend in new cases to below 1000 new cases per day (200-800 on average). Thus, the economies are reopening while the virus is still present, unlike in China.

The UK case

The UK had the peak in mid-April, but since there has been the gradual decrease in new cases to the still high level of daily infections (2000-3500). This is definitely a premature reopening and the risk of the second wave is high.

Rising cases of new infections

Many areas of the World are still experiencing the rising number of daily new cases, which could be approaching the peak (or not). Most notably in South America (Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina…) Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE…), and Russia. Obviously, these areas should not be restricting the lockdown. More importantly, this affects the global travel and re-opening the borders.

Infection still in early stages

It appears that the new infections are still in the early stages in Africa (South Africa, Nigeria…).

The US case

The US as a country reach the peak in the new cases during the month of April at the 30K cases per day, and since there has been only a gradual decrease to about 20K new cases per day. However, statewide, the decrease has been mostly in selected states such as New York and New Jersey. The new cases are still rising in California, while many states are simply in the flat stage, such as Texas and Florida. Thus, the risk of the second wave of infections for the US is very high. Here is the chart (from John Hopkins).

The second wave watch

Iran seems like it’s experiencing the second peak. The first peak was in late March at the 3000 level, and the trend gradually decreased to the 1000 level of new cases per day until May 2nd, at which point a gradual uptrend started to the (currently) 2500 level, near the previous peak. Is this what we can expect globally, given that the reopening seems to be premature – compared to the China case?