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People wearing face masks Tokyo’s Harajuku area

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Coronavirus infections are on the rise in many countries around the world, with cases soaring in some nations and fresh outbreaks in several places where the virus was previously thought to be under control.

This week, England and Scotland began new lockdowns, joining Wales and Northern Ireland, which already had similar restrictions in place.

Without such action, the countries’ chief medical officers warned that hospitals would become overwhelmed within 21 days. Hospitals in England are treating 40 per cent more covid-19 patients than during the peak of the first …