November 30, 2021

May brings reopenings around the globe as virus toll climbs

May is bringing cautious reopenings from coronavirus lockdowns, from Beijing’s Forbidden city to shopping malls in Texas, as the grim economic toll from the pandemic ticks higher. Many communities around the world are inching toward normalcy without certainty over whether they’ve vanquished outbreaks of the virus. But bleak new figures released Thursday underscored the pain inflicted by the disease and added to pressure on leaders to end shutdowns.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits surpassed a staggering 30 million and the European economy shrank a record 3.8% in the first quarter as hotels, restaurants, construction sites and manufacturing were frozen by lockdowns.

As bad as those and other numbers are, some are outdated because of the lag in gathering data so the true situation is almost certainly much worse.

Still, analysts saw a glimmer of hope in the way new unemployment claims have fallen for four straight weeks. Andrew Stett ..

China’s ancient, majestic Forbidden City reopened on Friday with all tickets for the May 1-5 holiday period sold out, and a limit of 5,000 visitors a day, down from the earlier maximum of 80,000.

The Chinese capital reopened its parks and museums, with controlled entries, about three months after hundreds of millions of people were ordered into a near lockdown as the coronavirus outbreak erupted in the central city of Wuhan. China on Friday reported 12 new cases, six of them.

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