Updates on the pandemic situation around the world

  • Flutist plays from his balcony during lockdown in Brussels
    Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
Published 2020-07-14 12:46

South Africa, Melbourne and several cities across the world are going back into lockdown. At the same time, other countries are reopening their borders. Here’s an update on the pandemic situation across the world…


Residents of Melbourne have gone back into lockdown this week. They will be confined to their homes for a period of six weeks. The state of Victoria has also closed its borders for this period hoping to contain the spread. Once again, residents are only allowed to leave their homes for grocery shopping, healthcare or caregiving, physical exercise and work and study, although employers are required to encourage working from home.

At the same time, the Australian government is considering opening borders to foreign students. While borders will likely remain closed to tourists and other passengers until 2021, Australian authorities will, on a trial basis, let foreign students in as they play an instrumental role in the economy.

New Zealand’s borders remain closed to outside travel and has recorded just one case in the past month.


Residents of Manila, in the Philippines will be required to remain at home for the next two weeks at least as the capital city has seen a surge in COVID-19 crisis after the nationwide lockdown was eased.

Singapore has also witnessed a surge in the number of local cases in the last month and last Monday new restrictive measures were put in place. Hong-Kong has not gone into full lockdown yet but as this third wave hits the country, residents are forced to wear a mask, restaurants can only operate on take-away basis after 6pm and a lot of establishments such as gyms and entertainment venues are closing.

Several cities in India are also going into full, strict lockdown as the number of cases are soaring. The country is now the third most affected in the world after the United States and Brazil.


South Africa has gone back into lockdown on the 13th of July as the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that the spread of the disease was becoming alarming. “The storm is upon us”, he said. As of the 14th of July, there are 276, 242 cases of COVID-19 in South Africa and 4, 079 deaths. This new lockdown will extend until the 15th of August.

According to the World Health Organization, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Algeria are the most affected countries in Africa. Despite this, Egypt is slowly reopening its borders to allow a boost in the tourism sector. Nigeria, although its borders will remain closed, is slowly preparing for schools to open and for day-to-day business to operate as usual. While cases continue to increase Ghana and Algeria are reopening their economy.


While borders gradually reopen within the European Union and to a limited amount of countries, within European countries the situation differs. While most countries have reopened schools and entertainment venues, some have reconfined cities where infection rates were particularly high. For example, regions around Lisbon are on lockdown since the 1st of July and for two weeks. Regions of Catalonia in Spain are also under threat of a second lockdown and residents of Leicester in the United Kingdom are also confined to their homes since the 29th of June.


In the US, infection rates are alarming. While all states had plans to reopen, several of them have has to pause or reverse their plans. For example, California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Los Angeles have gone back into lockdown after reopening. Washington, Oregon, Idaho and a few other states have paused their reopening. The rest are either reopened or slowly reopening despite the quick spread of the virus.

Canada has come out of lockdown and although their borders remain closed. The infection rate has also slowed down.

In Brazil, the infection rate keeps increasing and while he has himself caught the COVID-19, the President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to enforce further measures to contain the spread. 

In and around Buenos Aires, lockdown measures have been enforced since the 1st of July and are scheduled to last until the 17th. Same in and around Columbian capital city Bogota where residents have been on lockdown since Monday.