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Covid-19 has spread to more than 200 countries around the world. Credit: AP

The coronavirus pandemic has now reached more than 200 countries, infecting some 2.4 million people worldwide, and claiming more than 165,00 lives.

As the UK enters its fifth week of lockdown measures, other countries in Europe have begun to ease certain restrictions, while China, the original epicentre of the disease is slowly returning to some semblance of normal.

Four months on from the first reported Covid-19 cases, here’s an outline of how countries around the world are coping with the outbreak.

The Spanish government has begun to relax strict lockdown measures in the country in a bid to reactivate the economy after a two week long freeze.

Having initially banned all movement outside the home, authorities will soon start allowing children to go outside for brief periods each day. The details of the changes are yet to be confirmed but the measure should come into force from April 27.

The government had been under increasing pressure from regional governments, parents and some educators to ease the lockdown for children.

Last week, non-essential workers in a few sectors began returning to work, including those at some factories, offices, construction sites, in addition to those involved in repairs and maintenance.

Health workers hold a minute of silence to remember Joaquin Diaz, the hospital’s chief of surgery who died of Covid-19, at La Paz hospital in Madrid. Credit: AP

The spread of the outbreak has continued to slow in Spain, with health authorities reporting the lowest number of new deaths in four weeks.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the country have surpassed the 200,000 mark – the highest number in Europe – while the country’s total death toll stands at more than 20,000.

Some stores are reopening across Germany as Europe’s biggest economy takes its first tentative steps towards restarting public life after a four-week shutdown.

Shops with a surface area of up to 800 square meters (8,600 square feet) are being allowed to reopen on Monday, along with car showrooms, bike shops and bookshops of any size.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, told German media that big shops “draw large numbers of people into the city centre, they have high customer numbers and that isn’t possible in the first step”.

Saxony has become the first German state to make wearing a face mask mandatory. Credit: AP

Germany has been lauded for its rigorous Covid-19 testing regime, the country has the third highest number of confirmed cases in Europe but a much lower death toll.

As of Monday morning, the country had reported 4,404 virus-related deaths.

Primary school children returned to school in Denmark last week and now the country has taken another small step towards resuming normal life.

On Monday, hair salons, dentists, physiotherapists, tattoo parlours and driving schools, among others, were allowed to reopen.

Social distancing measures were key to the reopenings, business minister Simon Kollerup said, adding: “It goes without saying that you cannot avoid contact with a masseur or hairdresser. But the new guidelines need to reduce our infection.”

A total of 355 Covid-19 patients have died in Denmark.

People walking in a shopping street in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, as many smaller stores are allowed to open on Monday. Credit: AP

Singapore’s Covid-19 cases shot up to nearly 8,000 after a record 1,426 new confirmed cases were reported on Monday.

It now has the highest number of cases in south-east Asia at 7,984 – a massive surge from just 200 on March 15.

Authorities say most of the new cases were again linked to foreign workers, who account for over a million of Singapore’s workforce.

The government has been using a controversial tracking system, with the names, ages, nationalities, even addresses of cases published in order to track down their contacts.

A group in India distribute free food and water to homeless people during a nationwide lockdown. Credit: AP

India has recorded its biggest single-day spike in the number of coronavirus cases as the nationwide lockdown eases to restart some manufacturing and agriculture.

The health ministry reported 1,553 new cases, taking the national total to more than 17,000.

At least 543 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19.

India has been under the world’s largest lockdown for almost a month, halting all but essential services.

The slight easing of the lockdown allows limited industry and farming to resume where employers can meet social distancing and hygiene norms.

Restrictions have also been eased for migrant workers to travel to factories, farms and other work sites.

Sri Lanka’s government has partially lifted a month-long curfew and declared the coronavirus outbreak in the country under control.

The Indian Ocean island nation had been under a 24-hour curfew since March 20.

The measures were lifted during daytime hours in more than two-thirds of the country on Monday and will continue in the remaining districts including the capital, Colombo, until Wednesday.

Medical staff test a supermarket employee at a pop-up community Covid-19 testing station at a supermarket carpark in Christchurch, New Zealand. Credit: AP

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the country will remain in a strict lockdown for another week.

Some lockdown measures will then be eased after that point to allow some parts of the economy to reopen.

New Zealand has been in lockdown for nearly four weeks, with non-essential workers allowed to leave their homes only to buy groceries or get exercise.

From next week, workers at some businesses such as construction and manufacturing will be able to resume their jobs, and some schools will reopen.

New Zealand has reported 1,440 cases of Covid-19 and 12 deaths.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Monday’s press conference. Credit: AP

South Korea has reported 13 more Covid-19 cases. It’s the 19 consecutive day that the daily rise in new cases is below 100.

Figures from South Korea’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday took national totals to 10,674 cases and 236 deaths.

At least 1,006 cases were linked to arrivals from abroad – mostly students and other South Korean nationals who returned home in recent weeks amid outbreaks in Europe and the United States.

With its caseload slowing, South Korea has relaxed some of its social distancing guidelines, including lifting administrative orders that advised churches, gyms and bars to close.

Schools remain shut while providing children with remote learning.

Employees work on a production line of the ichroma COVID-19 Ab testing kit in Chuncheon, South Korea. Credit: AP

In China, where the pandemic initially started, authorities reported 12 new Covid-19 cases – eight of them brought from outside the country.

Another 992 people were being isolated and monitored for suspected cases or positive tests without showing symptoms. Wuhan, once the epicentre of the outbreak, reported no new cases.

Health authorities in China have now reported a total of 4,632 deaths and 82,747 cases.

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World News

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