Healthcare workers Italy
Healthcare workers react as they attend a performance by Italian violinist Fiamma Flavia Paolucci at Tor Vergata Hospital in Rome on May 12, 2020, as the world is marking International Nurses Day, during the country's partial lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Countries continued easing coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday as experts warned that the world could face a second wave of the pandemic.

"The good news is that there has been a great deal of success in slowing the virus and ultimately saving lives," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. But the agency's emergencies chief Michael Ryan lamented that some governments were choosing to "drive through this blind” because they haven't set up strong systems to track new outbreaks of the coronavirus.

Russia toll rises

In Russia, the government began to gradually ease lockdown rules Tuesday as the country's infections surged past 232,000 - now the second most in the world after only the United States, according to an AFP tally. The grim landmark came as President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told news agencies he has the virus. The gradual return to work was overshadowed by a fire in a Saint Petersburg hospital's intensive care unit that left five people dead.

Wuhan to test entire city

Chinese authorities said on Tuesday that they would test Wuhan’s entire population of 11 million after new cases were reported there. Local health authorities reported that five people in one residential compound in Wuhan had been diagnosed with coronavirus Sunday, all of them linked to an elderly man who had been confirmed as infected the previous day.

Rail services back to life in India

Vellore Howrah Indian railway
Patients and their relatives arrive from the Southern Indian city of Vellore after receiving treatment as the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Howrah Railway station in Kolkata on May 12, 2020. India's enormous railway network tentatively ground back to life on May 12 as a gradual lifting of the world's biggest coronavirus lockdown gathered pace even as new cases surged. Image Credit: AFP

The railway network in India ground back to life on Tuesday in defiance of a recent surge in the number of infections, with 3,600 recorded on Monday, just below Sunday's record tally.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced that the government would spend more than $260 billion, the equivalent of nearly 10% of the country's GDP, on a coronavirus economic relief package designed to make the country more self reliant.

Cluster of new cases in South Korea

South Korea, credited with one of the world's more successful anti-virus campaigns, said it was using mobile phone data to track Seoul nightclub visitors after a cluster of new cases.

The outbreak - which forced a delay in reopening schools - involves gay venues and potential carriers are feared to be reluctant to come forward.

Care home deaths raise UK toll

In Britain, which already has Europe's most confirmed deaths, the Office of National Statistics said reports from care homes for the elderly suggest the government's tally of 32,065 deaths underestimates the full toll.

US keen to reopen economy

The United States - where at least 80,000 people have died - has by far the world's highest caseload, but President Donald Trump is keen to reopen the economy quickly amid soaring job losses.

However, Washington's top epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has warned of "needless suffering and death" if Americans return to work and group leisure activities before the pandemic is under control. "If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: 'Open America Again,' then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country," Fauci told the New York Times in an email.

Philippines to ease restrictions

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said the country's lockdown, which has restricted millions to their homes and taken a heavy economic toll, will be eased. He warned that people who want to return to work must follow safeguards to avoid more deaths and a second wave of the virus.

- with inputs from AFP