Fears raised about possible second wave of coronavirus cases

Global alarm was sounded on Monday over a potential second wave of coronavirus cases after Germany, relatively successful in slowing the outbreak, reported that infections had accelerated again after the first tentative steps to ease a lockdown, rjrnewsonline reports.

But in the United States, which has by far the highest COVID-19 death toll in the world, President Donald Trump accused Democrats of reopening states too slowly.

Fears that a second wave of infections could thwart the reopening of the global economy helped send share prices lower across the world, and pushed depressed oil prices down still further.

The last month has seen investors bet strongly on a rapid economic recovery in spite of data far worse than any in living memory.

That has opened a rift between soaring stock markets and the free-falling economies they are meant to reflect.

In Europe, Spain and France took major steps to ease strict lockdowns, while Britain, second only to the United States in its death toll, unveiled cautious moves that critics said sent mixed messages.

However, the city of Wuhan in central China, origin of the global outbreak, reported its first cluster of infections since its severe lockdown was lifted a month ago.

Some of the countries and territories that are opening up their economies are not waiting for sustained falls in the spread of the virus.

Russia overtook Italy and Britain to report the world’s highest tally of cases after the United States and Spain.

Nevertheless, President Vladimir Putin announced plans to ease nationwide lockdown measures from Tuesday.

India, which has locked down its 1.3 billion people since March, reported a record daily rise in cases, yet said it would begin to restart passenger railway services, with 15 special trains, from Tuesday.