A look back at Covid-19 lockdowns around the world at this time

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Two years ago, in March, life as we knew it changed as countries around the world announced strict lockdowns and other restrictions in light of the rising number of Covid-19 cases. As infections around the world surged, fueled by new strains of coronavirus, including the latest variant of Omicron and its BA.2 sub-variant, many countries, including India, began to re-impose lockdowns for curb their spread in 2021.

Here is a list of countries around the world that have imposed lockdowns in the past two years at this time:

Several countries in Europe and Asia and the United States have reimposed restrictions from March 20, 2021 to combat the new wave of infections.

France: Around 21 million people in 16 regions of France, including Paris, have been blocked for a month as the country fears a third wave. Prime Minister Jean Castex said it was the only possible way to tackle the rise in cases in the country.

A woman waits on a deserted street in Paris as restaurants and shops are closed due to the lockdown. (AP)

Germany: In Germany, containment measures were put in place from March and they have been extended until April 18. Nightly curfews and stricter restrictions, including a near-total ban on home visits after 9 p.m. socializing, have been ordered in Berlin for some groups.

People wear protective face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic as they cross a bridge during lockdown in Oberhausen, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

The first lockdown was imposed in Germany on March 22, 2020. In April, the country recorded its 100,000th case.

A woman lights candles forming a giant cross in memory of coronavirus victims in Germany. (AP)

Belgium: In 2021, Belgium reintroduced strict lockdown measures, with the government saying schools would close and residents would have limited access to non-essential businesses.

A Dutch ambulance crew brings a COVID-19 patient 19 from Rotterdam to the BG University Hospital in Bochum, Germany. (AP)

we: The United States was the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, with more than 1.4 million cases and 87,000 deaths. The government imposed a lockdown between March and April 2020.

People walk past parked ambulances outside NewYork–Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in New York City during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo: Mark Lennihan)
A local mural of George Washington takes on new meaning as it has been covered in a mask as the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues in Washington. (Photo Reuters)

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro in Brazil extended a series of restrictions in March 2021 as the city’s hospitals recorded a 90% occupancy rate.

Cemetery workers wearing protective gear lower the coffin of a person who died of complications from Covid-19 into a grave in Vila Formosa Cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

India: On March 25, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown in view of the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Migrant workers walked thousands of miles after the lockdown was imposed. (Express file)

During the lockdown, India has seen thousands upon thousands of migrant workers travel hundreds of miles along highways to reach their home villages as public transport stops running.

Migrant workers and their families are trying to leave Delhi after the nationwide lockdown was announced. It was chaos at the Anand Vihar bus stop. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)
Migrant workers with families awaiting their turn for medical screening in Chandigarh before boarding buses to return to their home towns. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Almost a year later, India has seen a further upsurge in infections, with many states apparently in the grip of a second wave.

The last rites performed on people who succumbed to covid-19 during India’s second wave. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Netherlands: In 2021, the Netherlands made headlines for fierce protests against a partial lockdown imposed following a spike in infections.

Thousands of people take part in a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions in Amsterdam. (AP)

Italy: Italy was one of the first European countries to impose a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 in 2020. In 2021, new restrictions were imposed in March amid rising cases.

Rome’s historic Trevi Fountain remains empty as the city is under lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (AP)

The country’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, said he hoped the strict measures would help tackle the surge in cases and allow the government to ease restrictions by the second half of spring.

A woman walks past the monument of the Unknown Soldier as flags fly at half mast on a national day of mourning for the Italian dead of Covid-19, in Rome, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP)

Philippines: the Philippines The government has also ordered a lockdown in and around Manila as the capital struggles to cope with a rise in infections in March 2021.

Barricades are seen in Marikina as the Philippine government ordered a lockdown in and around Manila. (AP)

China: Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China. As China controlled the spread of the virus in 2021, in March this year a spike in new cases forced the government to impose a lockdown. China has banned most people from leaving coronavirus-hit Changchun in northeast China’s Jilin Province and mobilized military reservists as the rapidly spreading ‘stealth Omicron’ variant fueling the country’s largest epidemic.

A medical worker takes swab samples from a girl for Covid-19 testing in Yantai city, east China’s Shandong province, Monday, March 14, 2022. (Credit: Chinatopix Via PA)

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