Another quarantine and restrictive measures have been imposed in many countries in Europe and the Americas
Millions of people around the world found themselves under new lockdowns and quarantines over the Easter weekend because of an increase in coronavirus infections, despite ongoing vaccinations around the world.
Italian authorities declared a strict three-day nationwide lockdown on Saturday. For the second year in a row, Italian Catholics cannot celebrate Easter in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
New isolation measures will also take effect Sunday in France, where a rapidly spreading new variant of the coronavirus has caused intensive care units in hospitals to fill up. Restrictions have also recently been imposed in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in the Canadian province of Ontario, the third lockdown began Saturday. The restrictions will remain in place for 28 days because of the spread of new, more dangerous mutations of the coronavirus and an increase in hospitalizations. New restrictions have also been imposed in British Columbia and Quebec.
One of the world’s worst pandemic outbreaks continues in Brazil, as a more contagious variant of the virus first detected in that country continues to spread, causing alarm in other Latin American countries. Bolivia has closed its border with Brazil; Chile, Ecuador and Peru have all closed their borders.
The U.S. on Friday became the first country to fully vaccinate 100 million people. The announcement came just over a week after the Biden administration reached its goal of 100 million vaccinations.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 130 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. 2.8 million people have been victims of the pandemic. The U.S. leads in the number of infections with 30.6 million cases, followed by Brazil with 12.9 million and India with 12.3 million infections.