By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
Spain, one of Europe’s most visited tourist destinations, reopened its borders to visitors Sunday in a hopeful attempt to restart its economy after a three-month lockdown linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the move came while Brazil and South Africa said they struggled with a rising rate of coronavirus infections. And at a campaign rally, even U.S. President Donald Trump said he told his administration to slow down testing because it was turning up too many cases. However, a White House adviser later said Trump had been joking.
Health officials claim the virus has infected over 8.8 million people worldwide and killed more than 464,000 on a world population of 7.8 billion people.
Yet, critical experts say those numbers don’t justify ongoing restrictions in several nations that they claim will kill many more people.
On Sunday, frustration over the measures led to turbulence in the Netherlands with Dutch media reporting that police detained more than 100 people at a protest against social distancing policies in The Hague.
Several hundred demonstrators had gathered in the city’s Malieveld area on Sunday to object to the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Police said they moved to disperse the crowd and asked protesters to go home when the atmosphere turned violent.
“The remaining demonstrators on the Malieveld who refused to leave have all been arrested,” the police tweeted on Twitter. At one point, officers deployed water cannons to bring the situation under control.
ISRAEL GOVERNMENT CONCERNED
Elsewhere in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a return to lockdowns if people don’t observe measures designed to curb the coronavirus.
Israel has more than 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has seen a significant jump in infections over the past few days. At least 305 people have died since the start of the outbreak.
Speaking at the start of the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu stressed he would be weighing possible steps to ensure the situation doesn’t get worse.
“If we don’t change immediately our behavior regarding wearing masks and keeping distance, we will bring upon ourselves, against our will, a return to lockdowns,” he said. “None of us wants this.”
Back in Spain, officials allowed 47 million residents to travel around the country for the first time since March 14 freely. The state also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Britain and the 26 European countries that allow visa-free travel.
But these are uncertain times, and there were few travelers at Madrid-Barajas Airport, which on a typical June day would be bustling. “This freedom that we now have, not having to justify our journey to see our family and friends, this was something that we were looking forward to,” Pedro Delgado, 23, said after arriving from Spain’s Canary Islands.
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