Italy’s darkest day – but there is hope

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Italy's darkest day - but there is hope





© WORLD
Italy is hardest hit by the Corona pandemic in Europe. In order to assist people, the Pope gives the blessing “Urbi et Orbi”. How it was received by the Italians, plus WELT correspondent Bettina Gabbe from Rome. Source: WORLD


It’s a sad new record – Italy reported nearly 1,000 deaths in the Corona pandemic in one day, more than ever before. The Number of fatalities had risen by 969 since Thursday evening, said the civil defense on Friday evening. Overall so far 9134 people after infection with the novel corona virus died.

At the same time the increase in new infections slowed more: The 7.4 percent increase to a total of just under 86,500 cases of infection was the weakest since the pandemic started in Italy more than a month ago. In the days before, the infection rate was around eight percent.

The epicenter is in the north of the country – but worrying news is now coming from the south. In an open letter, the president of the Campania region, Vincenzo De Luca, complained that the government in Rome had not yet provided respiratory equipment and other life-saving equipment as promised – the health system of the regions in the south is poorly equipped compared to the rest of the country. “At this point there is a realistic prospect that the tragedy of Lombardy will soon become the tragedy of the southDe Luca wrote.

How tense the situation is can also be seen from the fact that Pope Francis today the Special blessing “Urbi et Orbi” is given – this is usually only spoken at Christmas, Easter and after a papal election.

There were numerous developments in the fight against Corona in Germany and in the rest of the world too – including the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the virus. We have summarized the events for you as usual. We take a newsletter break at the weekend – and will be back for you on Monday.

The situation in Germany

Testing, testing, testing – that counts as Recipe for success the hour. And that underlines again a confidential paper of the Ministry of the Interior, which leaked today and is also available WORLD. Inside had interior ministers Horst Seehofer (CSU) Scientists are investigating how the corona epidemic could spread in Germany. The result: The experts recommend that the virus be modeled on South Korea using massively expanded tests and the consequent isolation of infected people.

So they play scenario by allowing 50,000 tests per day from April 6th, 100,000 from April 13th and then 200,000 at the end of April. The authorities in South Korea mass tests and the isolation of sick people had succeeded in slowing down the spread of the novel pathogen significantly without bringing public life to a standstill. According to the reports, in this most positive scenario, the scientists assume that around a million people would become infected and around 12,000 would die. The strict procedure would have to be maintained for two months.

To do that medical personnel To protect against infected people should do the throat swab themselves, for example in drive-in or phone booth test stations. In the worst case, if the state does little, the scientists expect that 70 percent of the population will soon be infected. More than 80 percent of people who need intensive care treatment would then have to be rejected by the hospitals. The death toll would exceed the million mark.

The times of crisis are also noticeable in the surveys: how it jumps unionon the ZDF “Politbarometer” to its highest poll value in almost two years: If the next Sunday were Bundestag elections, 33 percent of the eligible voters would vote for CDU / CSU, as the poll published on Friday shows. Compared to the last survey at the beginning of March, it increased by seven percentage points. This is the highest increase that the “Politbarometer” has ever seen. Big loser the corona crisis is according to the survey the AfD: It fell four points compared to the beginning of the month to ten percent. The SPD and Greens lost one point each, the FDP and the Left remained unchanged.

The Federal Chancellor was responsible for assessing the sympathy and performance of individual politicians Angela Merkel (CDU) in front, from fourth to second place was able to advance to Bavarias Prime Minister Markus SOder (CSU), which in the crisis attracted attention with quick – critics say: rush – measures. SOder made a name for itself today with criticism of the EU Commission.

“Actually, this crisis would now be the hour of Europe and the hour of EU commission. But it is strangely quiet in Brussels, “said the CSU chief of the” mirror “. Von der Leyen himself recently criticized the EU states for going it alone and emphasized what the EU Commission had already initiated in the crisis: among other things, a common supply of medical equipment for the treatment of Covid-19 and the Return campaigns of EU citizens stranded abroad supported. A number of state aids to combat the crisis have also been approved. However, the Commission itself has no powers in health policy.

The situation in Europe

It was one of the news of the day. Of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was tested positive for the corona virus. Johnson explained in a video message on Twitter. So far, he has had only mild symptoms, cough and fever. Shortly after, Health Minister Matt Hancock said he had tested positive for the virus.

That now, after heir to the throne Prince Charles two government officials have infected, is almost symptomatic of the situation in the United Kingdom. There, the number of deaths rose to 578, around 11,700 people have been proven to be infected, and the number of unreported cases is likely to be higher. Great Britain had hesitated for a long time with the introduction of containment measures, and to date only a few tests have been carried out compared to Germany.

Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the renowned British science magazine “The Lancet”, called the delay in taking action one “National scandal”. “They have not isolated and have not given quarantines, they have not followed up contacts,” wrote Horton. The national health service NHS is “completely unprepared”. Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister, will be of little concern to him, but all the more so to his countrymen.

Spain has so far blackest day of his corona epidemic behind. The Ministry of Health announced that 769 people died on Thursday of the consequences of Covid-19 – the virus caused a total of 4858 deaths in Spain. And yet there is reason to be hopeful: there is a slight flattening of the infection curve. The number increased on Friday of new infections by 14 percent, on Thursday there were still four percentage points more.

The situation in the world

The The US has overtaken China and Italy in the number of coronavirus infections. Almost 86,000 cases have now been identified in the United States, Johns Hopkins University said on Friday. This means that the number of infections has more than doubled since Monday – the fastest increase in the world. US President Donald Trump said he was on the phone with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and emphasized the good cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.

In Russia on the other hand, which has 144 million inhabitants, there are only 840 coronavirus cases, according to official data, two people are said to have died. Starting tomorrow, all cafes and restaurants will close for a week. Citizens should also limit travel. Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced on Wednesday in a rare television announcement that the Russians should not go to work in the coming week to slow the spread of the virus. From now on, all international flights should also be suspended.

The situation on the stock exchanges

Before the weekend investors in the German stock market are back in the corona crisis more careful become. Investors were more interested in selling shares on Friday, making the Dax 3.68 percent lower closed at 9632.52 points. From a weekly perspective, the Dax nevertheless achieved an increase of 7.88 percent. It is the biggest weekly profit since December 2011.

And what gives hope …

With a study in the district of Heinsberg Bonn-based virologist Hendrik Streeck wants to investigate the corona infection chains and the presumably high number of unreported cases in 1,000 people. The virus left a footprint in the blood, he explained. In addition, it should be clarified why people who are there the same carnival event visited, got infected and sometimes didn’t. Above all, research needs to be carried out into the specific reasons why some died of the virus and others did not. Also for Immune protection there is still a lot of research to be done after a corona infection, Streeck said. At the moment it cannot be reliably said whether and for how long such protection works.

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