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Old message revived as new lockdown restrictions in various countries to contain second wave of COVID-19

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A message is being circulated on social media claiming that several countries across the world have imposed new lockdown restrictions amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in their countries. This post claims that Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Brazil, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy have imposed lockdown once again to control the second wave of the COVID-19 virus. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Claim: The list of countries that imposed new lockdown restrictions to contain the second wave of COVID-19 virus.

Fact: The same message is being circulated on social media at least since December 2020. According to the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, several countries eased the lockdown restrictions imposed during the rise of second-wave cases in their countries. The countries mentioned in the list are implementing lockdown with only a few restrictions. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

When we searched for the details of the claim made in the post, it is found out that the same message is being circulated on social media at least since December 2020. Old social media posts that shared the same message can be seen here, here, and here.

The Governments in different countries are implementing a wide range of preventive measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  To track and compare the policy responses of different countries, Oxford University created a database called ‘The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker’. This tool provides the visual representation of the lockdown measures using the ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’, a composite score developed by researchers at Oxford University. ‘Financial Times’ provided the visual representation of the ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ of different countries on their website. Based on this information, let’s check the lockdown measures of different countries mentioned on the list.

Saudi Arabia:

According to the latest report of ‘Geo News’, Saudi Arabia lifted most of the COVID-19 virus-related restrictions from 07 March 2021. In February 2021, Saudi Arabia banned travellers from 20 different countries as a preventive measure to control the spread of COVID-19 second-wave. Saudi Arabia lifted these restrictions on 07 March 2021. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Saudi Arabia was between 50-75.

Tanzania:

According to the article published by ‘QUARTZ AFRIA’, the Tanzania government underreported the rise of COVID-19 cases in their country. On 21 February 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) called upon Tanzania Government to take robust actions to contain the COVID-19 virus spread in their country. Acknowledging the rise in COVID-19 cases, Tanzania President John Magufuli advised the people of Tanzania to wear masks and maintain physical distance. John Magufuli reiterated that country will not impose a lockdown again.

Brazil:

According to the latest reports, Brazil Government imposed a two-week lockdown in ‘Brazilia’ amid the rise of COVID-19 cases in the state. Hundreds of Brazilians protested the Brazil Government’s decision to reimpose a lockdown in Brazilia. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ composite score of Brazil was between 50-75.

Spain:

According to a news report, Spain lifted down most of the lockdown restrictions from 15 March 2021. Night curfew remains in place from 10 pm. The Oxford ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Spain is 50-75.

United Kingdom:

According to the ‘Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker’, UK is implementing strict lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 virus spread in their country. The Oxford ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of the UK was between 85-100. On 08 March 2021, Boris Johnson led UK Government implemented the first phase of England’s roadmap to lift down the lockdown restrictions. Boris Johnson assured the people of the UK that almost all COVID-19 restrictions in the country could be lifted by 21 June 2021.

France:

According to a BBC news report, France is implementing a curfew between 6 pm to 6 am. Schools have opened with extra testing in place. France imposed weekend lockdown measures in parts of the French Riviera, including Nice and Cannes, as well as parts of the north coast. The Oxford ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ composite score of France is 50-75.

Germany:

According to the latest report of ‘The Hindu’, Germany extended lockdown restrictions until 28 March 2021. But, the German Government eased most of the restrictions and allowed the businesses to reopen in areas with low infection rates. The Oxford ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ composite score of Germany was between 75-85.

Italy:

According to the latest report of ‘The New York Times’, Italy imposed a strict regional lockdown from 15 March 2021 to contain the spread of the coronavirus. A nationwide curfew between 10 pm to 5 am continues in Italy. The country is divided into red, yellow, orange, and white zones depending on the infection rates. The Oxford ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ composite score of Italy was between 75-85.

To sum it up, an old message is now revived as the new lockdown restrictions in different countries to contain the second wave of COVID-19.

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